Counterfeit medicines sold online are a global scourge. Although erectile dysfunction drugs are well known to be heavily counterfeited, illicit vendors are rapidly expanding to other drugs and devices in the sexual health arena. International multidisciplinary cooperation is needed to address key patient safety concerns resulting from such markets.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Nature Communications Open Access 11 January 2022
Scientific Reports Open Access 07 April 2021
Nature Communications Open Access 16 January 2020
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $8.25 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Gaudiano, M. C. et al. A survey on illegal and counterfeit medicines for the treatment of erectile dysfunctions in Italy. J. Sex. Med. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02770.x
Jackson, G., Arver, S., Banks, I. & Stecher, V. J. Counterfeit phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors pose significant safety risks. Int. J. Clin. Pract. 64, 497–504 (2010).
Armstrong, K., Schwartz, J. S. & Asch, D. A. Direct sale of sildenafil (Viagra) to consumers over the internet. N. Engl. J. Med. 341, 1389–1392 (1999).
Mackey, T. K. & Liang, B. A. The global counterfeit drug trade: patient safety and public health risks. J. Pharm. Sci. 100, 4571–4579 (2011).
Khan, M. H. et al. Public health concerns for anti-obesity medicines imported for personal use through the internet: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 11, 2 (2012).
Eysenbach, G. Online prescribing of sildanefil (Viagra) on the world wide web. J. Med. Internet Res. 1, e10 (1999).
Pharmaceutical Security Institute. Counterfeit Situation: Therapeutic Categories [online], (2012).
Liang, B. A., Mackey, T. K. & Lovett, K. M. Suspect online sellers and contraceptive access. Contraception http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2012.04.011
Liang, B. A. & Mackey, T. K. Online availability and safety of drugs in shortage: a descriptive study of internet vendor characteristics. J. Med. Internet Res. 14, e27 (2012).
Liang, B. A. & Mackey, T. K. Vaccine shortages and suspect online pharmacy sellers. Vaccine 30, 105–108 (2012).
T. K. Mackey is the 2011–2012 Carl L. Alsberg MD Fellow of the nonprofit Partnership for Safe Medicines, for which B. A. Liang serves as a voluntary board member. The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a group of not-for-profit organizations and individuals with policies, procedures and programmes to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband medicines.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Liang, B., Mackey, T. Online risks to health—the problem of counterfeit drugs. Nat Rev Urol 9, 480–482 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2012.148
Nature Communications (2022)
Scientific Reports (2021)
To switch or not to switch—first Germany-wide study from the perspective of pharmacists in the European environment
Journal of Public Health (2021)
Nature Communications (2020)
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (2015)