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The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs,
and Other High-Risk Merchants

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Mugshots: US States That Prohibit Websites From Charging a Fee to Remove Arrest Photos

Over the past decade, dozens of for-profit websites have been created for the purpose of publishing arrest records, including booking photographs — more commonly known as “mugshots.” Many of these websites make money by charging the arrestee a fee to remove the image. Is this legal? The short answer is: it depends on the state.…

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Apricot Kernels: When Fruit Becomes an Illegal Supplement

Apricots are a popular summer fruit, but as a dietary supplement they can also be the pits. Acquiring banks, payment providers, advertising platforms, and others should be aware that the kernels found inside the pits of fresh apricots can contain something quite unexpected: cyanide. Some supplement merchants advertise these products as a health cure, which…

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New .health Domain Extension Introduced

This week, dotHealth launched the .health domain extension. This is exciting news for the medical industry and consumers. The .health domain will help to provide an easily identifiable place for internet users who are seeking trusted health information online — similar to that of .edu (for education), .org (for non-profit organizations), and .pharmacy (for certified…

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CanadaDrugs.com President and Five Others Arrested for Selling Fake Cancer Drugs

Update: This story has been updated. See License Reinstated for Canadian Pharmacist Who Sold Counterfeit Cancer Drugs to the US. Six men connected to the online pharmacy CanadaDrugs.com, including president and founder Kristjan Thorkelson, have been extradited to the United States and arrested for selling fake cancer drugs online. US federal prosecutors have accused the men…

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False Cures for Sale: Perpetrator Behind Elaborate Scheme Heads to Prison

The US Food and Drug Administration recently announced that Mustafa Hasan Arif, a UK and Pakistani citizen, was sentenced to six years in prison for marketing false cures that claimed to fix literally hundreds of conditions, including cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, even severe mental impairments. Back in 2009, a blogger operating under the name “One…

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BestKenko, Part V: The (Familiar) Road Ahead

In this blog series, we have explored how BestKenko has thrived as the largest internet pharmacy network targeting Japan, where it is violating the law. It sells and markets unapproved drugs, does not require a valid prescription to purchase prescription drugs, and operates with an opaque and unregulated supply chain. Furthermore, it deceptively presents itself…

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BestKenko, Pt. IV: Hitting Them Where It Hurts

We’ve explored how BestKenko uses deceptive marketing to allure Japanese consumers into purchasing drugs they think are safe, but actually come from an unregulated supply chain. The next logical question is: How can they be stopped? Let’s consider the essentials that an organization like this needs to operate. They have to maintain a large network…

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BestKenko, Part III: Partners in Crime

In today’s blog post, we’ll consider what happens when a Japanese customer orders a product from a BestKenko website. Where does it come from, and what are they really getting? As the internet pharmacy implies, are the drugs really approved by the US Food and Drug Administration? We’ll dig into domain name registrations, business records,…

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BestKenko, Part II: Boys and Their Toys

At The Cufflink Club, a trendy cocktail bar and hotspot for expats in Singapore, Yelp reviewers described buying a $28 drink (about $19 USD) called “Boys & Their Toys” with a toy soldier frozen into a giant ice cube. The Cufflink Club is a portfolio company of a Singapore investment group, Rajahblue Holdings. Rajahblue’s website…

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BestKenko, Part I: Is the Largest Internet Pharmacy Targeting Japan Illegal?

If you try to buy prescription drugs online in Japan — the second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world — chances are that you’ll click a link to a website like bestkenko.com. The website, written in flawless Japanese, assures “first time customers” that the website is completely legal, and typically offers pristine pictures of familiar Japanese…

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