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Online health clinics - separating the real from the fakes

Posted in: General Health 08 Oct, 2012

The benefits of the Internet are vast and it is not surprising that more and more people are choosing to purchase their chosen items online as it becomes easier and easier to do so. In regards to the online purchasing of pharmaceutical medications, this has never been more true. Although it is widely known that finding prescription medication online is relatively easy, finding a safe and reputable source from which to obtain such medication is not. Rogue online pharmacy sites are ever present and come with a number of risks that could potentially put you in danger. This is the very reason why so many online clinics have unfairly been tarnished. But it important to know that for every site that is operating illegally, there is a trusted, reputable and licenced online health care provider, such as euroClinix.

Last week the Guardian reported that there has been a significant crackdown on the selling of fake, unsafe or unlicensed medicines, with more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites having recently been shut down as part of Operation Pangea.

Operation Pangea

Launched with the aim to target the advertisement, sale and supply of counterfeit and illegal medicines and medical-related devices, regarded as a threat to worldwide public health and safety, Operation Pangea was also formed to highlight the dangers of buying medication online. Thus according to the National IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Coordination Center, Operation Pangea’s main objectives are to: safe guard public health, raise public awareness of the risks of fraudulent websites, confiscate and remove illegal or fake products from the market, identify the makers and suppliers of counterfeit medical products, shut down fraudulent sites and prosecute those responsible while seizing their assets.

Such is the worry and constant threat of the illegal selling of counterfeit medicines through unlicensed pharmacies that since its launch back in 2008, the operation has gained considerable momentum, starting off with just 10 countries involved in the operation and rising to over 100 participating countries. Such statistics highlight the substantial growth that this operation has had. Having subsequently seized up to 6.5m worth of illegal medicines, the operation has clearly been a success.

Identifying a legitimate health site

Knowing which sites are safe and which are not can be daunting, but there are a number of key checks that you should do in order to spot a licensed and legitimate online pharmacy such as euroClinx. Thus it is imperative that when purchasing medication online, the site:

  1. Uses registered doctors
  2. Dispenses medication from registered pharmacies
  3. Requires you to complete an online consultation in order to purchase medication
  4. Provides medication at prices that are not unrealistically low
  5. Provides only genuine and licensed medication
  6. Provides an authorised address and telephone number
  7. Demonstrates that full security measures are implemented within the site to ensure safe transactions and safe purchase of medication.

An online poll taken by the Guardian shows that a large proportion of people do follow such safety measures. The poll, which asked whether people had ever bought unlicensed drugs, showed that although 23% had purchased illegal medicines online, 77% had not. Although this suggests that people are aware of the dangers associated with rogue websites selling unlicensed medicines, statistics taken from Operation Pangea, detailing the subsequent rise of such websites, may suggest otherwise.

The rise of counterfeit sites

According to Operation Pangea, 2012 figures show that the confiscation of 3.75m counterfeit pills was implemented, over 17,000 fraudulent websites were shut down and over 80 criminal groups were either under investigation or under arrest due to the illegal selling and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs. In contrast, in 2011, 2.4m pills were seized and almost 13,500 websites were shut down. The rise and growth of such websites I would argue, therefore, shows that there are a large number of people who are not able to spot the difference between a legitimate online clinic and a fraudulent one. And until more people are able to differentiate between the two, the rise of rogue online pharmaceutical companies will just continue.

The crackdown on such illegal sites by Operation Pangea is welcoming news, and is one of the very reasons why licenced online clinics like euroClinix put the safety of our patients first. It is imperative that by following such steps as mentioned above in this blog and finding a licensed and respectable online pharmacy such as euroClinix, you will be a step closer to safely purchasing your prescription medication. Despite the many counterfeits and fakes out there, euroClinix is a site you can trust.

If you would like to find out more about how a legitimate site like euroClinix works, feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

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