Posted June 1, 2010
When technology and policy move forward they have the opportunity to make healthcare more efficient. But we must be prepared for the hijacking of legitimate healthcare efforts online by cyber criminals.
Two recent news articles feature topics that will quickly be abused by marketers for illegal pharmacies trying to make a buck.
- This May post New DEA rule touted as boost for e-prescribing from HealthCareITNews covered “the electronic prescription, also known as ‘e-prescribing’ of controlled substances”.
- On Sunday the New York Times discussed telemedicine in their article The Doctor Will See You Now. Please Log On. The piece describes communication using “face-to-face telemedicine, connecting doctors and patients by two-way video”.
Knowing that consumers will be searching more for terms like e-prescription and telemedicine as they become more commonplace, criminals will increasingly attempt to attract searchers to their sites. Their expertise in diverting traffic will mean that unknowing consumers will find themselves on sites where they can buy prescription medications with no prescription, some of which are not even approved by the FDA.
Cyveillance is hopeful about the increased efficiencies that technology can bring to medicine, however consumer education will be necessary as criminals will be eager to hijack the messaging around terms like ‘e-prescribing’ and telemedicine to further their rogue online pharmacy efforts. Organizations like the Food and Drug Administration and American Medical Association should increase their education efforts aimed at informing consumers about safe ways to take advantage of the internet for healthcare.