Know Your Source: Protecting Patients from Unsafe Drugs
Protect Your Patients and Obey the Law
Buying drugs from unlicensed sources is risky business. It puts your patients at risk of consuming drugs that may be unapproved, counterfeit, contaminated, or ineffective. If you purchase drugs from illegal sources, you are breaking the law and you may be subject to criminal investigation.
To reduce the public health threat posed by these potentially dangerous drugs FDA issues letters to inform doctors that may have obtained counterfeit or unapproved drugs from a rogue distributor, and provide tips on safe purchasing practices.
FDA Notice to Physicians (PDF - 160 KB)
Beware of Rogue Wholesale Drug Distributors
Wholesale drug distributors are a link between manufacturers and health care professionals. Their role is to ensure prescription medications are delivered safely and efficiently to thousands of health care practitioners and pharmacies nationwide every day.
While the U.S. health care supply chain is one of the most secure and sophisticated in the world, there is a growing network of rogue wholesale drug distributors selling potentially unsafe drugs in the U.S. market.
Reduce the Chance of a Potentially Unsafe Drug Reaching Your Patients
In order to protect your patients from unsafe or ineffective drugs, FDA urges health care professionals to verify that their supplier is licensed by the state. Drugs from rogue wholesale drug distributors may harm your patients and expose them to unknown risks or side effects. FDA advises health care providers to know the source for prescription drugs.
For additional information on how you can protect your patients, see Brookings Article - Reducing the Threat of Counterfeit and Unapproved Drugs in Clinical Settings.
Please email questions or comments to CDERDrugSupplyChainIntegrity@fda.hhs.gov.