Study: Spam E-Mail Good Source for Prescription Drugs

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Drugs like Valium and Xanax can be purchased via email not by doctor’s prescription, according to new research.

Researchers at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, the University of Toronto and University Health Network, Canada, successfully purchased products alleged to be Valium and Xanax (sedatives), Tramadol (a pain killer), Cialis (used for erectile dysfunction), and Meridia (an anti-obesity drug), as well as several mixtures of natural health products to promote weight reduction or improvement of male sexual function.

Messages sent to three e-mail accounts, which received 4,153 spam messages, were studied over a one month period, and a third of this spam was health-related.

"As the number of people who turn to the Internet looking for health or lifestyle problems increases," said the authors, "merchants will rise to the occasion, matching the demand. As this study has shown, current regulatory, legal, and geographic boundaries are unable to contain the flow of products across the world."