Russian Online Pharmacy Uses PGEU Endorsement Logo Without Authorization

Jun 23 2010 - 12:08

A Russian online pharmacy has been using the endorsement logo of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU), a European association representing European Union pharmacists, on their e-commerce website without PGEU authorization, leading consumers to believe that the pharmaceutical goods sold on the Russian website are approved by this Brussels-based organization.

The PGEU was informed on May 19, 2010 that the Russian owned Internet pharmacy, named Canadian Neighbor Pharmacy, offering Viagra and other prescription drugs, posted the PGEU endorsement logo. The pharmacy was taken down on May 20, 2010. Its web address was www.cancarepharmacy.com.

By clicking on the PGEU logo, the customers would be redirected to a counterfeit certificate signed by the PGEU President Filip Babylon. The pharmacy also claimed that four other North American pharmacy associations endorsed it.

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) insists that the PGEU endorsement logo is displayed on all legal online pharmacies. Considering the apparent ease of counterfeiting endorsement certification, PGEU calls for a better solution.
“Of course it is absolutely important that patients who wish to buy medicines legally on the Internet are given safe options to do so. However our experience shows that we run the risk of creating a false sense of security if counterfeiting certification is so easy. We should not put patients in the position of having to discriminate between fake and real certification. We need to explore technological options which put certification beyond the counterfeiters”, stated the PGEU Secretary General John Chave.

The PGEU became aware of the unauthorized use of the endorsement logo when one of its members received a spam email message from the Russian pharmacy with the alleged PGEU endorsement.

PGEU represents around 400,000 members, including national associations and representative bodies of European Union pharmacists in 30 countries.

For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic at our Balkan Regional Office.

Source: Medical News Today

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