Criminal affiliate pharmacy networks DrugRevenue (aka 33Drugs) and EvaPharmacy are emerging as major threats to Internet users and prescription drug safety, beginning to eclipse even well-known rogue Internet pharmacy empire GlavMed. Meanwhile, an as-yet unknown network that is possibly an outcrop of Meds-Easy is actively marketing dangerous controlled substances from Pakistan and other countries.
Both DrugRevenue and EvaPharmacy are affiliate pharmacy networks with hundreds (in the case of DrugRevenue) or thousands (in the case of EvaPharmacy) rogue Internet pharmacy affiliates that sell prescription drugs, mostly counterfeits, without a prescription. Although these Internet pharmacies market themselves as “US pharmacies” or “Canadian pharmacies” (or, for EvaPharmacy, “Canadian Health&Care Mall”, they are neither: rather, they are generally controlled by Russian or Eastern European (and possibly a few Chinese) individuals, and source their fake or unapproved drugs from myriad locations, including India and Pakistan.
Based on our tracking of the Internet pharmacy market, when viewing the problem purely by the number of active websites, LegitScript believes that EvaPharmacy stands as the most significant threat to online drug safety today, edging out historical rogue champion GlavMed.
To drill down into the numbers: even though we have documented over 20,000 GlavMed Internet pharmacies, today only about 1,700 are actively online at any one time (give or take a couple of hundred). This number fluctuates fairly consistently between 1,600 and 1,900, although it has been as high as 3,000 and as low as 1,400.
Our data currently shows active rogue pharmacy network numbers as follows. Inactive affiliates are not included in the calculations below.
# EvaPharmacy (2,574)
# RxPayouts (1,743), not including sub-affiliate networks
# Discount Pharmacy (1,694)
# GlavMed (1,674)
# Rx-Partners/Stimul-Cash (1,514)
# Health Solutions Network* (575)
# 4Rx/XLPharmacy (565)
# DrugRevenue (464)
# DrugstoreTM (414)
# MyRxCash (382)
- Note: Most HSN affiliates are “unapproved,” not “rogue,” in our database, although we continue to review this determination.
Those don’t include affiliate Internet pharmacies that are currently inactive or expired. Also, the controlled substances network that we refer to earlier in this document, which relies heavily on spam, is currently being reviewed, and will probably end up in the top ten, or even top five.
Why the drop in GlavMed’s numbers? First, it’s not clear that GlavMed, EvaPharmacy, DrugRevenue and other affiliate networks are really distinct. They may be controlled by the same organization, so this may merely be a strategy of diversification. However, to the extent that they operate as distinct affiliate networks, we think one reason is because GlavMed relies so heavily on spam, which means that GlavMed expects, at some level, those websites to get shut down fairly quickly. This is obviously a factor that rogue affiliates will consider.
Second, it is important to emphasize that in terms of historical (online and offline) affiliates, GlavMed still is unrivaled for the top spot, and probably will be for some time. But the steady trend away from GlavMed affiliation, and toward EvaPharmacy and DrugRevenue affiliation, suggests that rogue Internet pharmacy operators may be trying to look for other ways to market counterfeit drugs, relying somewhat less upon spam, or at least diversifying.
Meanwhile, which affiliate organizations are aiming for the top ten, but not quite there? We see RxAff, Rx-Commission, medstore.biz, and MyPharmShop, Inc. as smaller affiliate networks with several hundred a piece; of these, MyPharmShop is the newest and growing the fastest. A few, like PharmaMedics, seem to be declining in popularity with an unusually high number of defunct affiliate websites.
In conclusion: based on our data over the last six months, we think we can identify a clear trend. Today, EvaPharmacy, not GlavMed, stands as the largest rogue Internet pharmacy network as measured by active online affiliates.