Health-related spam

September 17, 2007

A new study in PLoS Medicine has found that a third of all spam messages advertise health products such as drugs and natural health products and that it is easy to purchase prescription drugs and controlled substances advertised in these messages.

Peter Gernburd and Alejandro Jadad at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University of Toronto and University Health Network, Canada, studied e-mail messages sent to three accounts over a one month period. The three accounts received 4,153 spam messages (82% of the total messages received), and a third of this spam was health-related.

The health-related spam mostly came from the US (73%), followed by China (16%) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (5%).

The researchers were able to successfully purchase products purported to be Valium and Xanax (sedatives), Tramadol (an opiate pain killer), Cialis (a drug 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.

"As the number of people who turn to the Internet looking for health or lifestyle problems increases," say 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."
-end-
EMBARGO: MONDAY, 17 September, 5 P.M. PDT

Everything published by PLoS Medicine is Open Access: freely available for anyone to read, download, redistribute and otherwise use, as long as the authorship is properly attributed.

In this week's press release: It is easy to purchase prescription drugs and controlled substances through spam messages on the Internet Please mention PLoS Medicine in your report and use the links below to take your readers straight to the online articles:

Citation: Gernburd P, Jadad AR (2007) Will spam overwhelm our defenses" Evaluating offerings for drugs and natural health products. PLoS Med 4(9): e274.

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040274

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-09-jadad.pdf

CONTACT:
Dr. Alejandro Jadad
University Health Network
Centre for Global eHealth Innovation
R. Fraser Elliott Building, 4th Floor
190 Elizabeth Street
Toronto, M5G 2C4
Canada
Tel: +14163404800 x 6903#
e-mail: ajadad@ehealthinnovation.org

About PLoS Medicine


PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org

PLOS

Related Erectile Dysfunction Articles from Brightsurf:

European survey shows alarmingly low awareness of erectile dysfunction
Awareness of erectile dysfunction (ED) is alarmingly low in men and women aged 20 to 70, a new survey commissioned by the European Association of Urology (EAU) has revealed.

Erectile dysfunction drugs can help cells destroy misfolded proteins
PDE5 inhibitors -- which include the erectile dysfunction drugs sildenafil and tadalafil -- can activate the cell's protein quality-control systems and improve its ability to dispose of misfolded proteins.

Men with erectile dysfunction may face higher risk of death
Men with erectile dysfunction have a higher risk of death, regardless of their testosterone levels, suggests a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, and publication in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Factors associated with discontinuation of erectile dysfunction treatment
The factors associated with men ending treatment for erectile dysfunction have been reviewed in a study published in IJIR: Your Sexual Medicine Journal.

Concussions linked to erectile dysfunction in former NFL players
Former NFL players reporting concussion symptoms following head injury more likely to report erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels.

Erectile dysfunction associated with lower work productivity in men
Erectile dysfunction (ED) was linked with loss of work productivity and with lower health-related quality of life in an International Journal of Clinical Practice study of more than 52,000 men from eight countries.

The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction
A review of published studies found that estimates for the global prevalence of erectile dysfunction vary widely, ranging from 3% to 76.5%.

Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
Melbourne surgeons have modified a minimally invasive technique to help men regain erectile function lost after prostate cancer surgery.

New discovery provides key to side effects caused by erectile dysfunction drugs
Study reveals several features of PDE6 that were previously unseen.

Convincing evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction
Evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction has been found in a large-scale genomic analysis.

Read More: Erectile Dysfunction News and Erectile Dysfunction Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.