WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is now a member of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), it was announced today by ASOP Global’s Executive Director, Libby Baney and Martin Elliott, global head of brand protection for Visa.
“While the vast majority of e-commerce merchants operate legitimate businesses, we recognize the threat presented by illegal online pharmacies that endanger public health and erode trust in the payment system by selling consumers counterfeit drugs,” Elliot said. “We are proud to join ASOP Global to protect cardholders and the integrity of electronic payments systems.”
“Illegal online drug sellers make billions of dollars selling dangerous counterfeit and unapproved medicines,” explained Baney. “Visa’s membership in ASOP Global demonstrates their commitment to helping deny rogue online drug sellers access to electronic payments.”
Currently there are 35,000 active online pharmacies, the vast majority of which – roughly 96% -- do not comply with applicable laws and safety standards. Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50% of medicines sold online are fake or counterfeit.
According to Interpol, counterfeit medicines are responsible for between 100,000 and one million deaths annually worldwide. Counterfeit drugs are often manufactured in unsafe conditions and contain little or no active ingredients. In addition, counterfeit drugs have been found to contain dangerous or deadly poisons, including floor wax, mercury, concrete, chalk, boric acid, road tar, paint or anti-freeze.
Since 2009, ASOP Global has worked to educate patients, policymakers, Internet commerce companies and healthcare organizations about the risks of illegal online drug sellers and to advance policies to make the Internet safer for patients worldwide. Most recently, ASOP Global launched a campaign to educate older Americans and their caregivers on the health and economic risks they face when buying prescription medicines online and tips for how to stay safe.
“As long as people are at risk of receiving dangerous, illegitimate products through rogue websites, ASOP Global will do everything it can to protect consumers worldwide,” Baney said. “We applaud Visa for joining us in our mission to address the growing public threat of illegal online drug sellers and protect Internet consumers worldwide.”
About the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global)
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is an international 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to protecting patient safety globally and ensuring patient access to safe and legitimate online pharmacies in accordance with applicable laws. Members include organizations representing pharmacists, pharmacies and physicians; patient safety groups; public health organizations; pharmaceutical manufacturers; government entities; and Internet security organizations.
About Visa (NYSE:V)
Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.