March 2, 2007
News Summary Drug traffickers are increasingly involved in supplying pharmaceutical drugs to buyers on the Internet and other black-market outlets, according to the U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
UPI reported March 1 that the board is calling for the “elimination of the unregulated market … through a concerted effort involving governments and relevant parties such as the pharmaceutical industry, wholesalers, retailers, professional associations, consumer and patient groups and international organizations.”
“An increasing volume and variety of internationally controlled substances are available in the unregulated market,” said
Philip Emafo, president of the INCB. “Traffickers are turning to innovative ways of trafficking and diverting such substances, including the transnational distribution of counterfeit drugs and the use of the Internet and the postal and courier services for illicit drug trafficking. Activities of the unregulated market expose patients to serious health risks through the delivery of often poorly documented, unsafe, ineffective or low quality medicine.”
Illicit markets for pharmaceuticals range from village markets and fairs to shady Internet pharmacies, Emafo said.
Up to half of the medications consumed in third-world countries may be counterfeit, the World Health Organization estimates. “Such drugs may closely resemble genuine products in terms of their packaging and labeling,” the INCB said in a new report. “Controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances may be present in products without any mention of such drugs or substances on the labels or package inserts.”
See also; Diverted Pharmaceuticals
From; Join Together Online