Buyer Beware

Sep 14


Britto Alex

Britto Alex

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FirstMed is a UK based online clinic offering treatment for male impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED). Order and buy medications online in confidence from our secure website, all prices include P&P and prescription


There has been a wave of recent attention given to the security concerns that surround the business of online shopping. This is in large part due to a report released by an online brand management company,Buyer Beware Articles Mark Monitor’s, whose research found that the majority of online drug retail websites operate without proper credentials and lack e-commerce security features..

The findings, which have prompted a revival in interest regarding web security and brand protection, revealed the following. Of the nearly 3,200 online pharmacies monitored by the researchers, only four were accredited as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS), a credential created by the pharmaceutical industry to assure consumers that an online pharmacy can be trusted.


They also found that 10 percent of the pharmacies monitored in the study stated that prescriptions weren't necessary for purchasing drugs at their sites.


More than 50 percent of the sites studied, the report noted, do not secure customer information.


A majority of the sites do not use SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption, it said, and in more than 20 percent of post-purchase e-mails captured by the researchers, unencrypted links to customer information were found.


There is also evidence in the study that the drugs being dispensed at the sites are of inferior quality.


So what does all this mean? Plainly speaking, Mark Monitor has told us something that we already knew existed, namely illegal online operators. They have told us that dubious pharmacies abound on the Internet, and they're posing a threat to both pharmaceutical companies and consumers. They have simply reaffirmed that the number of websites offering medicines for sale though the internet has increased rapidly in recent years and that some of the medicines sold on websites may be counterfeit, out-of-date, stolen or diluted.


Where do we go from here? Drawing attention to the importance of internet security is always a good thing but one can’t help but wonder whether the money used in the production of the Mark Monitor report may have been better spent in developing security systems to combat the very fraud they are documenting. Many people might say that surely a report is a good thing and not very expensive, I have looked at the findings and conservatively estimate that the report cost a whopping 105,000 to produce.


To produce the report Mark Monitor looked at

3.160 web sites and Over 60 million email abuses

To do this properly it would take the following man power and expense

1 person can monitor 20 web sites per day

Therefore 3,160 = 158 working days

To do this in a month you would need at least 7 people most probably a team of 10 people

To monitor the emails we can conclude that they used either a team with the same amount of people or half that size.

At a standard cost of 40K per year per worker salary and cost of desk. That is 3.3K per month per worker

Therefore a cost of 49.5K for research is not outrageous

To analyse the findings and produce the report a team of between 10 and 15 people would have been needed for a two week period

To analyse and produce the data would cost more as it is a more skilled job therefore we will put a 4.5K per month per worker salary

4.5 x 15 / 2 = 33K

To market the findings a team of 5 people would be needed for a month

Again marketing is more expensive than research so 4.5K per worker per month is not outrageous

So a cost of 22K for marketing is the least to be expected

If done to the level to which they have specified then cost of this report is therefore at least 104.5K .

In my mind it is just terrible that they spend all that on this research which is kind of obvious.

Then there is the countless of pharmaceutical companies that pay for their advice when they could just set up a world wide accrediting service for half the price that would safe guard their businesses and help the consumer.




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