Whether or not you use the free FamilyWize discount card, we consider it a public service to let you know the latest news on the high risks of buying drugs from online pharmacies.
|Trustworthy online pharmacies will always require you to have a doctor's prescription for your medication|
Are all online pharmacies bad?
And this isn't just an overseas problem – the danger is right here in the U.S.. According to the NABP, 9,938 of the rogue online pharmacies identified as being businesses not recommended for U.S. consumers, roughly half of them are selling drugs to U.S. residents, drugs that are of foreign origin or that have not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These rogue pharmacies are often disguising themselves to their prospective online customers as being of Canadian or American origin—not hard to do with simple website design—and yet they are often operating their business from other countries, many that have lax or no regulatory controls in place.
How dangerous is this situation? Potentially deadly. Many of these unregulated pharmacies, the NABP reports, are also selling counterfeit, expired, adulterated, or contaminated drugs. If you are not getting the drug that’s on the label, not getting it in the correct dosages (too strong or too weak, due to lack of standardization in manufacturing), or getting drugs that have unapproved fillers or additives, your very life could be in danger. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even slight differences in your medicine can make a big difference in safety. Medicine that is not FDA approved, even if it was approved by another country will like have variations or different ingredients that the FDA says can cause you to get sicker, develop a resistance to your medicine, or cause new side effects.
The FDA warms that your risk increases if you take more than one medication, as the differences between what you were expecting to take and what you may be actually taking from a questionable pharmacy could also affect the way other medicines work or cause harmful interactions.
Not just health risks, but financial risks as well
Efforts to stop rogue pharmacies
- One such operation, the 100-country Operation Pangea, brought about the shutdown of literally thousands of rogue pharmacy sites.
- LegitScript.com produced evidence of fake drug sites that resulted in about 5 thousand rogue sites getting shut down.
- The FDA has started BeSafeRx, a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of buying prescription medicines from fake online pharmacies. This campaign provides the resources to help consumers know the risks of online pharmacies, identify rogue online pharmacies, and how to find reliable online pharmacies.
How do I find trustworthy online pharmacies?
- Require you to have a doctor’s prescription.
- Have a license with your state board of pharmacy.
- Provide a verifiable physical address and telephone number in the United States.
- Offer a pharmacist to answer your questions.
Safe ways to save money on your prescriptions