Counterfeit drugs and the online pharmaceutical trade, a threat to public safety

O'Hagan, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5361-8320 and Garlington, A., 2018. Counterfeit drugs and the online pharmaceutical trade, a threat to public safety. Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal, 6 (3), pp. 151-158. ISSN 2469-2794

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Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a serious and ever-growing threat to public safety. Monitoring the trade is difficult, resulting in the precise scale of the problem being unknown, however evidence shows that it is not just lifestyle drugs that are targeted nowadays. Adverse health problems, including fatalities, have resulted from consumers self-medicating with counterfeit products. Without efforts to enhance the public's knowledge, the problem will continue to persist. The internet is facilitating the trade by providing counterfeiters with a large consumer base and limited risks. The dark net within it allows for anonymous transactions between manufacturer, distributer and consumer. While some online pharmacies are legitimate, there are a growing number of those that are unverified which sell dangerous counterfeit products. Both the packaging and medication are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it difficult for consumers and law enforcement to identify them without chemical analysis. Counterfeit batches have also been detected in established legal trade routes whereby they are able to, if undetected, end up in high street pharmacies and hospitals. Multiple organisations have set up worldwide operations to dismantle the trade however this is a complex and evolving problem that without significant changes to legislation may never be fully.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: Review article
Publication Title: Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal
Creators: O'Hagan, A. and Garlington, A.
Publisher: MedCrave Online Journals
Date: 22 May 2018
Volume: 6
Number: 3
ISSN: 2469-2794
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Jul 2018 11:23
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2018 07:43

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