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Article
December 3, 1997

WHO Considers Regulating Ads, Sale of Medical Products on Internet

JAMA. 1997;278(21):1723-1724. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550210019010

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Abstract

THE INTERNET, like the air, is owned by no country and is being harmfully polluted by many. Health authorities in the United States and internationally have been growing concerned about the use of the Net to promote and sell fraudulent or illegal medical products across national borders.

In response to complaints from Belgium and other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened an ad hoc working group to develop recommendations to help curb the escalating use of the Internet by promoters of health fraud and marketers of illegal drugs. The group met at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in September, and the director-general will report its findings and recommendations to WHO's executive board in January and to the World Health Assembly meeting in May.

The report, entitled Cross-Border Advertising, Promotion, and Sale of Medical Products Through the Internet, warns that the confidence and safety of the public are being undermined

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