Prescription Drugs Online? Caveat Emptor
hundreds of drug-dispensing websites in business, how can consumers
tell which sites are legitimate? The FDA warns of the dangers
of purchasing medical products online. These drugs run the risk
of being contaminated or counterfeit product, the wrong product,
an incorrect dose or no product at all from an illegal website.
Taking an unsafe or inappropriate medication puts you at risk
for dangerous drug interactions and other serious health consequences.
Getting a prescription drug by filling out a questionnaire without
seeing a doctor poses serious health risks. A questionnaire does
not provide sufficient information for a health-care professional
to determine if that drug is for you or safe to use, if another
treatment is more appropriate, or if you have an underlying medical
condition where using that drug may be harmful. The American Medical
Association has determined that this practice is generally substandard
medical care and the FDA agrees.
The FDA recommends that consumers check with the National Association
of Boards of Pharmacy (www.nabp.net,
847-698-6227) to determine whether a website is a licensed pharmacy
in good standing. Donít buy from sites that offer to prescribe
a prescription drug for the first time without a physical exam,
sell a prescription drug without a prescription or sell drugs
not approved by FDA.
Donít do business with sites that have no access to a registered
pharmacist to answer questions, and avoid sites that do not provide
a U.S. address and phone number to contact if thereís a problem.
Donít purchase from foreign websites at this time because generally
it will be illegal to import the drugs bought from these sites,
and there is very little the U.S. government can do if you get
Be careful of sites that use impressive-sounding terminology to
disguise a lack of good science, or those that claim the government,
the medical profession or research scientists have conspired to
suppress a product. Especially, steer clear of sites that include
undocumented case histories claiming ďamazingĒ results.
Consumers who suspect that a site is illegal can report it to
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