After a massive close down of thousands of websites found to be fake online pharmacies using individuals claiming to be doctors and issuing fraudulent prescriptions or selling counterfeit medicines, the authorities have imposed warnings to be the public to be more cautious in any transactions done online especially on pro-health claiming sites. In response, sales of online pharmacies began to drop, affecting even the legitimate entrepreneurs online.
Although most would not comment, there are those who filed their complaints for the public to see such as the Canadian-based online pharmacy, BestCDS.info who asserted that their products are legitimate. This company, along with that of several others in UK stated that they never give prescriptions even when it is only to comment on an inquiry but instead encourage their clients to seek a physician first. The medicines prescribed by a legitimate doctor is then emailed or faxed to them.
The manager, under the name Carl, admitted he had lost most of his clients who suspected his business and has therefore spoiled his good name. In an interview with The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization providing imperative information on counterfeit medicines, one of Carl’s clients who chose to speak anonymously accused Carl’s company for selling “sugar pills”. Carl then resolutely stated that these allegations are without merit and that his company has never sold any fraud medicines. The case is still under investigation as the drugs were traced to be manufactured in Jakarta, Indonesia.
According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Legitimate pharmacy sites on the Internet provide consumers with a convenient, private way to obtain needed medications, sometimes at more affordable prices. The elderly and persons in remote areas can avoid the inconvenience of traveling to a store to purchase medications. Many reputable Internet pharmacies allow patients to consult with a licensed pharmacist from the privacy of their home.”
But this is not without risk. There is still no knowing whether the site is safe just because the purchase is convenient and the appearance looks legitimate enough.
To be sure, FDA encourages consumers to first check http://www.nabp.net/ where a list of illegitimate online pharmacies is published. These include those that claim to dispense drugs without a prescription or sell products not approved by the FDA, and, of course, fake online pharmacies that are downright fraudulent.
In addition to being included on this list, other warning signs of fake online pharmacies include sites that don’t provide a physical address for their business or don’t list a verifiable phone number.