Online Drug Sales a ‘Global’ Problem, U.N. Report Says
Prescription drug and illegal narcotics traffickers are increasingly using the Internet as a "powerful sales tool," according to a report released today by the U.N. International Narcotics Control Board, the Washington Times reports. Calling "improper" drug use the "fastest growing problem in the industrialized world," the report found that online pharmacies are dispensing legal medications without prescriptions or medical oversight, and illegal drugs, including psychotropics and amphetamines, also have become "increasingly available" from Internet sites. Tablets and liquids can be sent undetected through "usual mail controls" because they are packaged in small containers that appear "innocuou[s]," the report states. In addition, the INCB report found that few governments have discovered a method to control drug sales on the Internet. INCB member Herbert Okun said that Internet drug sales "started as a trickle ... now it's a mushroom cloud" (Pisik, Washington Times, 2/21). To view the report, go to http://www.incb.org/e/ind_ar.htm. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the report.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.