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
What role should the US government play in the current Ebola outbreak?
Finance development of drugs to treat/prevent disease.
Oversee medical treatment of patients in the US.
Provide treatment for patients globally.
All of the above.
No government involvement in patient treatment or drug development.
Finance development of drugs to treat/prevent disease.
29%
Oversee medical treatment of patients in the US.
10%
Provide treatment for patients globally.
6%
All of the above.
42%
No government involvement in patient treatment or drug development.
13%
Jim Miller Outsourcing Outlook Jim MillerCMO Industry Thins Out
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerFluorination Remains Key Challenge in API Synthesis
Marilyn E. Morris Guest EditorialMarilyn E. MorrisBolstering Graduate Education and Research Programs
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Biopharma Manufacturers Respond to Ebola Crisis
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoHarmonizing Marketing Approval of Generic Drugs in Europe
FDA Reorganization to Promote Drug Quality
FDA Readies Quality Metrics Measures
New FDA Team to Spur Modern Drug Manufacturing
From Generics to Supergenerics
CMOs and the Track-and-Trace Race: Are You Engaged Yet?

Click here