Thursday, August 06, 2009

Online pharma spammers capitalize on Canada's health-care reputation

From the Ottawa Citizen:
Cyber-criminals from Russia are taking advantage of Canada's reputation for quality health care, bombarding the Internet with unwanted e-mail advertising counterfeit and potentially lethal male-enhancement drugs and painkillers, according to online security experts.

"Almost every illegal pharmacy that's out there invokes Canada," said John Praed, a Virginia-based lawyer who has filed a lawsuit to investigate the online pharmaceutical market.

"This will taint Canada," Praed said.

The current king of the online pharmaceutical spamming world calls itself "Canadian Pharmacy," which according to Praed is an illegitimate operation based in Russia that distributes more than 75 different counterfeit medications produced in India and China. He said they use Canada as a selling tool because the biggest market for online drugs is the U.S., and Canada has a reputation for providing cheap, safe medications to Americans.

It is estimated that more than 200 legitimate online pharmacies are based in Canada, but they are being undermined by the illegal operations co-opting Canada's reputation, said Tim Smith, general manager of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. (CIPA is the membership association for online Canadian pharmacies licensed to sell medications internationally.) ...more

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