Internet Pharmacies: Some Pose Safety Risks for Consumers and Are Unreliable in Their Business Practices

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As the demand for and the cost of prescription drugs rise, many consumers have turned to the Internet to purchase them. However, the global nature of the Internet can hinder state and federal efforts to identify and regulate Internet pharmacies to help assure the safety and efficacy of products sold. Recent reports of unapproved and counterfeit drugs sold over the Internet have raised further concerns. This testimony summarizes a GAO report: Internet Pharmacies: Some Pose Safety Risks for Consumers, GAO-04-820 (June 17, 2004). GAO was asked to examine ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 17, 2004.

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As the demand for and the cost of prescription drugs rise, many consumers have turned to the Internet to purchase them. However, the global nature of the Internet can hinder state and federal efforts to identify and regulate Internet pharmacies to help assure the safety and efficacy of products sold. Recent reports of unapproved and counterfeit drugs sold over the Internet have raised further concerns. This testimony summarizes a GAO report: Internet Pharmacies: Some Pose Safety Risks for Consumers, GAO-04-820 (June 17, 2004). GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which certain drugs can be purchased over the Internet without a prescription; (2) whether the drugs are handled properly, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and authentic; and (3) the extent to which Internet pharmacies are reliable in their business practices. GAO attempted to purchase up to 10 samples of 13 different drugs, each from a different pharmacy Web site, including sites in the United States, Canada, and other foreign countries. GAO assessed the condition of the samples it received and forwarded the samples to their manufacturers to determine whether they were approved by FDA, safe, and authentic. GAO also confirmed the locations of several Internet pharmacies and undertook measures to examine the reliability of their business practices."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 17, 2004

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Internet Pharmacies: Some Pose Safety Risks for Consumers and Are Unreliable in Their Business Practices, text, June 17, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293268/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.