Silk Road and the online drugs trade - Truthloader Investigates
How to Tell if Online Drugs Are Fake
In an ideal world, purchasing medications online would be free of problems but since it isn't an ideal world, it pays to keep your wits about you when purchasing prescription drugs and other medications online. If you really feel that you must purchase your drugs in this manner, this article offers some suggestions on how you might be able to spot counterfeit drugs and which ones are the real deal.
Prior to purchasing drugs online, consider the need.Do you really have to purchase them online or can you find a way to obtain them from a local pharmacy? In times of normal supply, going to the local drugstore is a safer option. And even in times of emergencies, such as a flu pandemic when supplies run low, there is all the more reason to take care rather than to trust just anyone selling the drugs online because unscrupulous profiteers will be selling counterfeit drugs that could compromise your health and life.
Check FDA press announcements.Go to: and see if there have been recent announcements about particular pharmacy scams online. The FDA regularly publicizes counterfeit drug sales to be careful of.
- If you're not in the USA, check the similar website of your federal, national, or other relevant health department website for similar updates.
Check out the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website.This site will tell you which online pharmacies have accreditation for their sales and can be trusted. It is found at: . This site will also tell you about any scams or rogue online pharmacy concerns at the current time.
- Remember that pretending to be a pharmacy online is as easy as creating a website. Check the credentials of that pharmacy first!
- This site also covers some countries other than the USA; check the site for details.
Check that the pharmacy you're buying from online has a licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions.The pharmacist should be based in your own country.
- The site must provide a point of contact for you to talk to a pharmacist about any concerns.
Check the website of the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug.They will definitely make it clear if they are aware of any counterfeit drugs being marketed on the internet, so look for such news on their site. If you are still unsure, perhaps send them an email asking them to check the claims of the seller of the drug before purchasing.
Consider the price.If it's too good to be true, then treat as a probable fake. Drug patents keep prices high, and lower prices can indicate that the seller has fake drugs, not authorized generic copies.
Upon receipt of any drugs purchased from the internet, check them:
- Are they the right color? If you have had the drug before, do the colors match? Or do the colors match against the colors shown for the drug on the pharmacist's or pharmaceutical company's website?
- Check the shape. The same thing as with color; do the colors differ from what you're used to in this drug?
- Check the batch number and the code printed on the foil of the blister pack. These should match the batch number and code printed on the outside of the packet containing the blister pack.
- Are there any signs of tampering or oddities that make you wonder about the drugs on receipt of them? If you have authentic packaging from a previous pharmacy-purchased prescription, check it against the online drug purchase. There may be small but noticeable changes in fonts, advice, etc., that are not part of the manufacturer's own updating. Spelling errors, poor layout, crookedness, and sloppiness are all warning signs of a fake drug.
- Does it smell or taste strange?
- Can it be chipped or squashed easily?
- If you're still concerned, ring the manufacturer and explain that you have purchased the drugs online but you're not sure whether they're counterfeit or authentic. It is possible you will be asked to send it in for analysis. Or, take the drugs to your doctor or a pharmacist for checking.
Avoid taking the drugs if you are suspicious about them in any way.Counterfeit drugs may be sugar pills or they could be filled with harmful chemicals. You have no way of knowing and it is irresponsible to gamble with your health.
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- When assessing how your drug should look, check such sites as the manufacturer's site and other pharmacy sites.
- If you're in the USA and you don't find any answers to your queries, contact the FDA or the NABP:
- Phone: 1-800-332-1088
- Avoid diagnosing yourself and self-medicating. Always talk to your doctor before purchasing drugs for yourself and be sure that your doctor has prescribed the needed drugs. In addition, your doctor may need to take into account the interactions of other drugs you're already taking.
- Seriously think twice about obtaining pharmaceuticals through online means. If you can't get out of your home, find someone you trust in your family or from your circle of friends who can collect your prescriptions for you.
Video: Law enforcement warning about dangers of buying prescription drugs online
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