Marcia Bergeron died from taking pills she purchased over the Internet, through a website plastered with fake medical agency endorsements.
Think those spams and web pages touting deeply discounted drugs are a great deal? Think the latest link is too good to pass up, the message too compelling to ignore?
Remember Marcia Bergeron’s name. In Canada, it’s all over the media, due to death at 57 in December 2006. Security firm Sophos noted the coroner’s findings as gathered from those reports:
Bergeron’s death has not been conclusively linked to the pills, and pharmacists in Canada have been calling for the coroner, Rose Stanton, to hold an inquest and make the findings public.
“Inquests may be held to focus community attention on a death and/or to satisfy the community that the death of one of its members is not overlooked, concealed or ignored,” said CPhA Executive Director Jeff Poston. “This is precisely the type of case that demands an inquest be held.”
Pharmaceutical spam has remained an ongoing pest for email recipients for years. Symantec’s report on January 2007 spam showed health-related spams were matched by product spam, and trailed only financial spam slightly, for the month.
An inquest that includes an investigation into Bergeron’s computer may uncover more details on how she reached the now-closed fake pharmacy site. Avoiding those sites and discarding messages advertising them should be something people do today. Bergeron doesn’t get that chance; you do.