Rockville, Md., — As part of a continuing mission to improve global health, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has joined with the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) to combat the threat posed by the illegal online sale of medicines.
“Helping to ensure the quality, integrity, safety and benefits of medicines and foods is a core mission for USP and an important tool in improving public health around the world,” said Ronald T. Piervincenzi, chief executive officer of USP. “The illegal online sale of medicines, which can include large volume of counterfeit and substandard products, is a threat that reaches directly into the homes of consumers.”
Libby Baney, executive director of ASOP, emphasized that effectively confronting illegal online drug sellers requires collaboration by diverse stakeholders to protect patients worldwide. “We cheer USP’s membership. As a global leader in medication quality and safety, its involvement in this issue is hugely valuable and sets an example for others to follow,” said Baney. “As USP recognizes, we all must work together to make the Internet safer for patients worldwide.”
Baney noted that according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, at any one time there are approximately 40,000-50,000 active online drug sellers, the vast majority of which – indeed nearly 97% – do not comply with applicable laws and pharmacy practice standards, putting patients at risk. Piervincenzi added that studies by the World Health Organization indicate that half of the drugs sold on some Internet sites are counterfeit. ASOP and USP are enthusiastic about this new partnership to jointly address the public health threat posed by illegal online sales of medicine.
“We all have a role to play in halting the international trade in counterfeit, substandard or dangerous drugs, which stretches far beyond one nation, one industry or one organization.” – Ronald T. Piervincenzi Ph.D., chief executive officer, USP
“USP’s involvement in this issue is hugely valuable and sets an example for others to follow.” – Libby Baney, executive director, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies