-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Understanding and
minimizing the risks of buying prescription drugs online are the
goals of a new public education campaign by the U.S. Food and Drug
A recent FDA survey of Internet users found that 29 percent said
they were unsure of how to safely buy prescription medications
online, yet more than 20 percent of respondents said they use the
Internet to buy the drugs.
The Internet makes it easier for fraudulent and illegal online
pharmacies to sell medicines to Americans because they can operate
outside the system of federal and state safeguards that protect
people from inappropriate or unsafe medicines, according to the
Medicines bought from fraudulent or illegal online pharmacies
could be counterfeit, contaminated, past their expiration date,
contain the wrong or no active ingredient, or not have FDA
approval. Using these medicines could put your health, or the
health of your family, at risk, the FDA warned in a news
Only 3 percent of websites that were reviewed appeared to meet
state and federal pharmacy laws, according to the National
Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the organization responsible for
It can be difficult for consumers to known if an online pharmacy
is trustworthy, according to the news release. Many fraudulent
online pharmacies use convincing marketing tactics and have
websites that appear legitimate.
The FDA's new campaign, called BeSafeRx: Know Your Online
Pharmacy, provides information to help consumers identify and avoid
troublesome online pharmacies. One of the most common warning signs
is exceptionally low prices.
"Fraudulent online pharmacies often offer deep discounts," FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in the news release. "If the low prices seem too good to be true, they probably are."
The campaign also recommends that consumers beware of online
Consumers should buy medicines only from online pharmacies
Here's where you can find out more about the
BeSafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy campaign.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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