Feeds

Drugs agency calls for crackdown in e-pharmacies

Illegal trade targets the vulnerable

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Governments must do more to crack down on the illegal trafficking of pharmaceutical drugs online.

Inconsistent laws and the failure to enforce legislation already in place has led to an explosion in the trade of pharmaceutical drugs online. Some can be bought via Web sites while other are touted openly in spam emails, making it easy for people to get their hands on powerful drugs.

In particular, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) warns that the international online trade in controlled substances is targeted at vulnerable people such as addicts.

But the UN body accepts that controlling Internet pharmacies is a complicated business, not least because these pharmacies are operating all over the world and can - and do - relocate their operations at short notice whenever they are threatened with legal action.

Different national laws and regulations make it difficult for law enforcers to identify and investigate illicit use of the Internet. Also, the sheer volume of letters and parcels shipped on a daily basis makes it almost impossible for police to detect illegal shipments and track their origin.

Despite the difficulties, the INCB has called on Governments to do more to stamp out the trade. In its annual report published today the INCB said: "Governments should ensure that illicit trafficking and the diversion of pharmaceutical products containing narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances are established as criminal offences. Such offences should be punishable by sanctions commensurate with their gravity."

There have been some successes. Last year, a restaurateur and her son were jailed in Florida for running an unlicensed Internet pharmacy which fulfilled orders from a bedroom in her suburban home. Although they operated only two websites, mother and son generated a whopping $1.3 million in sales.

And then there are the consequences of this illegal trade. Last year, the mother of a Durham University student called on the Government to do more to stop unscrupulous companies selling prescription drugs on the Internet after her son took his own life while suffering from depression after becoming addicted to a cocktail of drugs that he obtained online.

Speaking after his inquest mum, Mue Bracknell, said that Web sites selling prescription drugs on the Internet are "cynically manipulating vulnerable people who are desperate". ®

Related stories

Legality of online pharmacies questioned
'Unscrupulous' Net drugs trade led to death of student
e-Pharmacy sites offer risky prescription

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.