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  1. Resources | Drugs

Looks Can Be Deceiving: The Risks Of Buying Medicines From Across The Border Or Around The World

(NAPS)—When it comes to buying medicines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that nothing is more important than safety.

With this in mind, FDA is warning consumers not to purchase medications from foreign countries, including Canadian Internet pharmacies. Non-FDA approved products sold from these outlets can be risky and dangerous. The FDA’s warning follows a recent announcement by the government of Canada that it cannot assure the safety or effectiveness of medicines being purchased by U.S. consumers from Canada.

In the U.S., FDA sets high standards to ensure that medicines are high quality, safe, and effective products. Around the world, FDA is considered the world’s gold standard. Because of FDA’s efforts and science-based decisions, millions of Americans can get the medicines they need and be assured of their safety and effectiveness when they buy from pharmacies and pharmacists licensed and located in the United States.

Outside the U.S., all bets are off. When buying medicines online or from so-called “store-front” pharmacies, consumers enter the world of what could be unsafe and risky products. Prescription medicines bought outside of the U.S. may be old, poorly manufactured, improperly stored or even counterfeit (fake or tampered with). Crooked people from around the world are shipping counterfeit, dangerous and illegal medicines every day. This safety gap is real: the World Health Organization has determined that more than 80 percent of medicines are counterfeit in some countries.

Bottom line: Buying medicines from outside the U.S. is risky business. Don’t take the risk.

To make sure that an Internet site or pharmacy is a state-licensed pharmacy, is in good standing, and is located in the United States, check with your state board of pharmacy or with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) at www.nabp.net.

Educational Resources: Buying Medicine From Outside the United States

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