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More Illegal Sites Running Online Abortion Pill Scams

Aug. 4, 2022 — A lot of women seeking abortion pills online have unknowingly been ordering the pills in one of several fake clinics making false claims, pharmacy experts report.

Although some websites on the internet are licensed and legitimately connect consumers with the pills, the illegal sites may sell either counterfeit or expired pills or deliver no pills and just steal payment information. Al Carter, PharmD, executive director of the nonprofit National Association of Boards of Pharmacy says that because the the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June, there’s been a rise in his teams discovery of illegal websites on the internet selling what they claim are abortion medications.

Ninety-six percent of the web pharmacies on the market are illegitimate, he says. Theyre violating some form of state or federal law in nearly every incidence.

The court ruled that each states could ban abortion procedures. The resulting patchwork of laws and access barriers have made conditions ripe for an evergrowing black market online for mifepristone and misoprostol, two drugs found in combination to induce abortions.

Fascination with the drugs soared following the Supreme Court ruling was leaked in-may.

Within 3 days of the leak, online looks for abortion medications jumped 162% weighed against the 3 days prior to the ruling, in accordance with a written report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

WARNING FLAG

Among warning flag an abortion-pill website is fraudulent, Carter says, are that the website doesnt require a prescription for the abortion drugs. Mifepristone and misoprostol could be legally accessed only with a prescription.

When there is no contact where one can consult with a pharmacist, thats another clue, he says.

Sites that produce false claims about abortion pills are growing in the same way the illegal sites that popped up in the pandemic peddling COVID-19 cures and non-approved vaccines and treatments, Carter says, adding that exactly the same fear-based tactics are increasingly being used.

Where you can Check Websites

The NABP is wanting to bring focus on illegal websites not merely for abortion drugs, but pain medications among others as well using its safe pharmacy site. There it is possible to plug in the web site address involved and check its legitimacy.

Libby Baney, JD, a senior adviser to the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), an advocacy group, says as well as the NABP safe pharmacy site, they advise that consumers searching for an internet site to get abortion pills check legitscript.com, which accredits legitimate online pharmacies and telemedicine companies.

Verify before you get, she says. Its super easy to bypass the guidelines on the net and operate anonymously from some unknown jurisdiction offering counterfeit or substandard pills.

Baney says as more states consider banning usage of abortion procedures and pills, the amount of illegal websites will grow.

Criminals are suppliers and theres consumer demand, she says.

The main element is in checking the web site address. Even sites that appear to participate in major chain pharmacies could have a slightly altered URL, she warns.

Consumers have grown to be familiar with trusting the initial entries which come through to a browser search since they assume they are vetted as the utmost accurate, Baney says. While that may work with checking a countrys capital, algorithms for buying online medicines ought to be viewed with caution.

In accordance with a survey commissioned by ASOP, almost half (45%) of Americans mistakenly believe all websites offering healthcare services/prescription medications to Americans have already been approved by the FDA or state regulators.

This misconception is even higher (59%) the type of who’ve previously purchased prescription medicines online, the study says.

Baney warned against trusting an algorithm with online pharmacies selling abortion pills.

Criminals understand how to game it, she says.

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