Are you sure you are paying for real medicines?
Taking care of your health involves making sure that you are getting the medical assistance you need from health professionals. It primarily includes choosing the right medication for treating ailments. At some point, you may wonder whether what you are ingesting is even safe for you and your family or not.
Licensed practicing doctors and pharmaceutical testing companies are indeed following laws, regulations, and ethical practices. However, the trade of counterfeit drugs has been going on for decades and some authorities are still battling even today. No matter the laws passed for the safety of the public, fake medicines are still in circulation.
Safeguard Your Health Thru Verification
Seeing so many unnamed individuals falling victim to these websites, fortunately, there are ways to avoid scammers who are just after your money. The following information are steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
For Medicines Already Bought
- After buying from a pharmacy, check if there is a seal. Look for cracks and signs of tampering. The pharmacy has no choice but to take it back. Over-the-counter drugs must have a proper tamper-resistant seal approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It must still be on the bottle or packaging upon purchase of the medicine.
- Check the packaging. Different kinds of the packaging must safely contain medicines such as glass, metal, and plastic. They must have closures to prevent the contamination of the medication from outside elements.
- Read the labeling. The following must be in print on the packaging in compliance with the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The labelings must also be in readable font with correct spellings:
- Product name
- A complete list of its active ingredients and net contents in figures (dosages)
- Expiration date
- Control or lot number
- Storage and precautionary measures
- Instructions for usage or administration; warnings
- The name of the manufacturer or the person marketing the product and the address
- Observe the physical conditions of the medicines themselves. Tablet forms must be whole and not cracked, and without crystallizations, capsules must not have discolorations, swellings, softness, holes, or any signs of tampering.
- If the medicines are consumed, monitor your health condition, and seek the help of a family physician. Be honest with your doctor and layout all the effects of the medicine. Secure the medication and bring it along to your doctor in case it needs close investigation. Expect proper examination for further analysis.
- Check the pricing. Compare the prices of medicine in other pharmacies. If the price falls far from the other pharmacies, whether it is too cheap or too expensive, you cannot accept the product. If you have health insurance, you cannot rely on it to pay for imported medicines if you plan to source them overseas since it is a crime.
Safe Purchase of Drugs and Supplements Online
Fake prescription medicines are making rounds all over the Internet. Anyone can create a legit-looking website to sell hazardous counterparts of the medication you are familiar with.
The danger now comes from the fact that you are not dealing face to face with the people who sell medicines and other healthcare products.
Before buying from any online store, check for the following:
- Pharmacies, whether offline or online, must always ask for a valid doctor’s prescription and other medical information before allowing you to purchase. Legitimate drug stores and pharmacies recognize the importance of releasing substances that require the advice of a professional.
- Signs of criminal activity may include low or unreasonable pricing that further convinces the customer to buy. You must never take low prices just because it is affordable. You may suffer the consequences on your health later on and amass an expensive hospital bill eventually.
- Take note of less than satisfactory customer service. If they have no licensed pharmacists who will adequately address your concerns, that is a sure sign that you are dealing with a fake pharmacy.
- Avoid ecommerce stores outside of the United States. Although it may not necessarily be an illegal operation, they may not hold the same strict standards and regulations as the ones that do within the country. And because each state has its own laws, it will only operate within their own countries. Search the database offered by The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy for verification.
- Read and compare ingredients with the medication that you have from a legal pharmacy. It must have the same generic and brand names, the correct amount of ingredients with proper names and spellings.
- No legal online pharmacy would keep sending unwanted marketing emails, especially if you did not approve of it. Pharmacies marketing cheap medicines are likely fake.
- May sell medicines lacking an active ingredient, or contain ingredients that should not be included in the formulation. It is what causes adverse effects in the body as two or more ingredients may cause a dangerous reaction.
- Look if they have a legitimate address. The website should be operating within the country. You can quickly look for the address on Google Maps to see if it is showing a suspicious facility. There are times that one may find an empty street or a small instead at the given fake address.
What To Do When You Find Fraudulent Sellers
During this time, when you suspect that you have been a victim of fake pharmacies, you should do the following:
- File a report to the Federal Trade Commission and add the link to the store. Be sure to state your findings.
- Report medications that are showing tampering to the Food and Drug Administration. Go to the official website and email your findings.
Crimes that threaten your health and safety must not be left alone. All the information you can give regarding fake medicines and the sources will be helpful when reported to the right authorities. You can further help by raising awareness and telling your family and friends about what you have learned here to protect themselves and their loved ones. Fake medicines can be easily acquired because their manufacturers make it happen. Nobody knows what goes into these medicines. They can either not be sufficient, give you complications and worsen your ailments to possible death. It is a matter that should never be dismissed.