Fake Medicines Continue to Threaten Consumers

According to the Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU), the illegal manufacturing and distribution of fake medicines is an enormous and growing public health risk with an untold cost to lives. Vast profits are made by organised criminal gangs who often use the proceeds to support other sinister criminal activities.

The Internet provides the ideal channel to buy illegally distributed fake medicines. Price, convenience and secrecy as well as ignorance to the dangers are driving consumer demand, creating the perfect environment for over 35,000 illegally operating websites.

Mike Isles Executive Director of ASOP EU says “The only really effective way to stop the criminals is by educating the public about buying medicines online. Our study shows that the vast majority of people just do not understand that most websites are selling medicines illegally. So if we can educate and stop the demand that is the more than half the battle won”

Announced at the EUIPO Observatory meeting in Brussels was the MoU between ASOP EU and TaC-Together against Cybercrime International (TaC) to educate the public about fake medicines by developing the Youth IGF Movement (www.youthigf.com) (IGF), a multi-stakeholder platform which provides educational material to train people worldwide and contributes to solving this alarming, global problem. See the video below to hear some words about the objectives.

Mike Isles speaks about the objectives of the signed MoU between ASOP EU and TAC

 What is the Youth IGF Movement?

The Youth IGF is a global movement that operates as a multi-stakeholder platform. It allows the young (15-29 years old) to discuss and take a lead on issues related to Internet governance in the format of local, national or regional debates. These debates are organised by the young on a volunteer basis. The Youth IGF is based on the principles of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The main objective of the initiative is to allow the voice of young people to be heard by Information Society leaders on issues related to internet governance and to help young people to take an active part in the decision-making processes.

Specific objectives include; promoting informal education on questions related to Internet governance and cybersecurity, raise awareness on Internet-related issues, safe and responsible use of the Internet and to promote the multi-stakeholder model among youngsters/ Promote entrepreneurship

Yuliya Morenets, the Founder of TAC says “The phenomenon of fake medicines has massive consequences for the youth of today. With a growing expectation that the Internet enables you to buy literally anything online, then fake, falsified or substandard medicines causes real patient safety issues. Already we have cases of young girls buying slimming pills and overdosing and dying, which is a real tragedy. This collaboration can help educate the youth around the globe of today to ensure they have a safe future tomorrow.”



Mike Isles 

Mike.isles@asop.eu +44 7540 462867


The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU) is a not-profit Community Interest Company and represents a multi-sectorial, coalition of organisations and individuals, dedicated to creating an environment that enables patients to buy their medicines online safely (where it is legal to do so). To find out more about ASOP EU and ASOP Global please visit the website http://www.buysaferx.pharmacy/


TaC – Together against Cybercrime International is a non-profit making civil society anti-cybercrime organisation established in France and working at local, national, European and international levels. TaC International works in the field of cybercrime/cybersecurity and child online protection and advises different entities on cybersecurity strategies. TaC is also actively involved in Internet governance issues by stimulating discussion on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by vulnerable people and initiating debate in the format of youth and teenager dialogue. www.againstcybercrime.org