Pfizer Opens Online Pharmacy to Fight Counterfeit Medicine - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue
PharmTech

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Pfizer Opens Online Pharmacy to Fight Counterfeit Medicine


Pfizer has launched a prescription-fulfillment website for Viagra (sildenafil citrate) tablets in what the company describes as an effort to combat the online sale of counterfeited medicine. Patients with a valid prescription can purchase the drug online. CVS/pharmacy will handle the back-end functions, including the authentication of all prescriptions.

In a press statement, Pfizer reports that fake online pharmacies and the products they sell are an escalating public health threat. While the number of online pharmacies has increased in recent years to meet consumer demand, a recent review by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has shown that as few as 3% of websites selling prescription drugs are legitimate pharmacies, and up to half offer foreign or non-FDA-approved drugs.

“We have seen counterfeit medicines manufactured in filthy and deplorable conditions, yet some people do not realize the risks that this poses to their health and safety, our top priority,” said Matthew Bassiur, vice president, Pfizer Global Security in the press release. “Counterfeit medicines often contain the wrong or incorrect levels of active ingredient, as well as potentially dangerous contaminants. Samples of counterfeit Viagra tested by our labs have contained pesticides, wallboard, commercial paint and printer ink. These findings motivate us to continue our aggressive global efforts to stop those who prey on unsuspecting patients.”

In 2011, Pfizer Global Security evaluated 22 websites appearing in the top search results for the phrase “buy Viagra” and conducted chemical analysis of the pills advertised as Pfizer’s Viagra that were ordered from these outlets. The study found that about 80% of these pills were counterfeit, and while the fake Viagra pills contained the active ingredient, sildenafil citrate, the amount was only 30% to 50% of what was advertised.

ADVERTISEMENT

blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
|Monthly
| Weekly

Survey
FDASIA was signed into law two years ago. Where has the most progress been made in implementation?
Reducing drug shortages
Breakthrough designations
Protecting the supply chain
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
More stakeholder involvement
Reducing drug shortages
70%
Breakthrough designations
4%
Protecting the supply chain
17%
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
2%
More stakeholder involvement
7%
View Results
Eric Langerr Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerTargeting Different Off-Shore Destinations
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerAsymmetric Synthesis Continues to Advance
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Data Integrity Key to GMP Compliance
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoExtending the Scope of Pharmacovigilance Comes at a Price
From Generics to Supergenerics
CMOs and the Track-and-Trace Race: Are You Engaged Yet?
Ebola Outbreak Raises Ethical Issues
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 2: Realizing the Benefits of Unified Communications
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 1: Challenges and Changes

Click here