A few days ago, we blogged about inaccurate information posted on chantix-buy.com, a self-described affiliate of long-time rogue Internet pharmacy atlanticdrugs.com. Just a few hours after we posted this information, both websites were taken offline, and atlanticdrugs.com's domain name registration information was edited.
The background. AtlanticDrugs.com, which has long been a highly visible Internet pharmacy, initially was an affiliate of Health Express, an unapproved affiliate pharmacy network operating primarily out of the EU. However, as we described in our blog, atlanticdrugs.com had claimed to use a prescribing physician who, it turned out, wasn't even licensed any longer (and ultimately went to prison). Then, a few months ago, LegitScript notified atlanticdrugs.com's Registrar about our rogue designation. Quickly following that, the website claimed to have become an affiliate of Secure Medical, an affiliate pharmacy network that is unapproved (but not rogue) in LegitScript's database, probably in an attempt to convince the Registrar that atlanticdrugs.com should stay online. However, chantix-buy.com then appeared, claiming to be an "affiliate" of atlantic-drugs.com, yet was definitely under the control of Health Express.
This raised two possibilities: either atlanticdrugs.com was never really a Secure Medical affiliate (and lied on its website), or Arizona-based Secure Medical and Health Express now have a business relationship of some sort.
So what happened after our blog about atlanticdrugs.com? For one thing, consider the "WhoIs" information, and how it changed last week, raising additional questions about who was really behind the website -- and also who is really behind Health Express. As of October 13th, 2011, the day of our blog, atlanticdrugs.com's WhoIs information was that of Secure Medical's:
Carvalho, Rei [email protected]
1155 West Rio Salado parkway
Suite # 201
Tempe, Arizona 85281
But by October 15th, the day of our blog, someone changed the domain name registration to a South African address:
Marsh, Amy [email protected]
65B New Street
Grahamstown, Grahamstown 6139
That address, according to open source information, is a coffee shop in Grahamstown, South Africa.
So what's really going on here - was atlanticdrugs.com really being run out of South Africa the whole time, or is this just another fraudulent WhoIs? (It's simply implausible to believe that Secure Medical -- or, for that matter, Health Express -- simply gave the domain name away.) And what's the connection between Secure Medical and Health Express? And what is the connection of Health Express, which claims to be operating out of the UK, to South Africa?
LegitScript will continue to do its own digging. In the meantime, we encourage Health Express, Secure Medical, and specifically Minesh Pattni, the CEO of Health Express, to help us clear up this information for our readers.
Editor's note: Secure Medical provided LegitScript with the following statement, indicating that the company was in negotiations with HExpress to acquire atlanticdrugs.com (and, for approximately two months, did operate the website); however, upon becoming aware of "past history" concerning the website's reputation the sale was aborted.
Secure Medical Inc. ( SMI) was in negotiations with Hexpress to acquire the url, Atlanticdrugs.com in July, 2011 prior to the blog article.
We (SecureMedical) did allow the website url Atlanticdrugs to be facilitated by SMI while the purchase due diligence period was taking place. The time frame was roughly end of July, 2011 until the middle of September, 2011. We only allowed this temporary service of the url atlanticdrugs.com after the url was completely revised and scrubbed by SMI. This included a complete revision of products available, medical review process and operating policies. Essentially the website was almost gutted but maintained the name, which was the asset we were interested in acquiring. We also required domain registry authority until the proposed close of sale.
During our due diligence period we discovered some past history concerning atlanticdrug’s reputation which forced us to abort the sale.
As of September 23, 2011 we discontinued any relationship with atlanticdrugs and or Hexpress.