The FDA says almost all online pharmacies are phoney

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Monday, October 1, 2012 - 9:19pm

The Food and Drug Administration has launched an awareness campaign to warn consumers that the vast majority of online pharmacies are offering counterfeit drugs.

According to the FDA, only three percent of online pharmacies reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy comply with US pharmacy laws and practice standards.

To be safe, customers should make sure that the pharmacy requires a valid prescription before dispensing drugs, and has both a physical address and state license within the US.

At best, says the FDA, customers may be getting fake drugs that could be less effective or have unexpected side effects. On top of this, it points out, customers can be putting themselves at financial risk by handing over personal and banking information.

"These sites may infect your computer with viruses, and they may sell your information to other illegal websites and internet scams," it says.

Nevertheless, says the FDA, nearly a quarter of Americans have bought prescription drugs online, largely because of the lower cost. it's hoping to spread the word through doctors, legitimate pharmacists

THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHECKING OUT ONLINE PHARMACIES:

  • Make sure the company is from the United States
  • Make sure they are licensed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • Make sure they always have a pharmacist available to speak to over the phone
  • Only use an online phamacy if you have a  prescription from a medical doctor

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