If you are looking to the Internet for medication that you can afford and that is safe, you would probably like the security of knowing that you are looking at legitimate websites. For this reason, it can be extremely disturbing to know that there are fake online pharmacies out there.
These websites are very dangerous, as they can compromise your health by sending medication that is substandard or counterfeit. Additionally, they can steal your identity. There are certain things you can do, however, to avoid these scamming fake online pharmacies.
FDA Shutdown of Fake Online Pharmacies
Back in June of 2013 the FDA’s International Operation Pangea VI shut down thousands of illegal online pharmacies, some of these being fake Canadian online pharmacies. These rogue online pharmacies were stopped to protect American consumers from medication that could be potentially harmful. The FDA has done consumers a real service by disabling these sites.
However, the FDA also misleads the American people by telling them not to use even licensed Canadian pharmacies and other online pharmacies that adhere to strict safety requirements through the BeSafeRx program, even though many of these sites are safe and have affordable drugs.
The Appearance of a Fake Online Pharmacy
Typically, fake Canadian online pharmacies come in the form of websites that display the Canadian flag, with the signature red and white colors and maple leaf, or other signature Canadian graphics. However, these websites do not have any legitimate ties to the nation of Canada.
A majority of these fake online pharmacies are actually based overseas, often in Eastern Europe and Russia. A number of these websites have even been shown to be linked to organized crime. The take-home message here is that they are not actual Canadian pharmacies.
The Differences Between Real and Fake Online Pharmacies
Fake Canadian online pharmacies can be spotted in a few different ways. There are practices that these so called businesses engage in that legitimate pharmacies would not.
Fake Online Pharmacies Typically:
- do not require prescriptions for your medication
- do not sell real or safe medications
- do not fill orders through licensed pharmacies
- do not publish or display verifiable contact information
- do not have licensed pharmacists working for them that will dispense your medication
- do not protect your personal and financial information
Real, Legitimate Online Pharmacies Will:
- provide regulated medications that have been approved by an official national drug regulatory authority
- require a valid prescription from your doctor rather than simply an online questionnaire
- fulfill your prescriptions through licensed pharmacies and have licensed pharmacists employed to dispense the medication
- display verifiable contact information, including a mailing address and phone number
- be affiliated with a licensed online pharmacy
- provide consumers with the ability to speak with a licensed pharmacist if necessary.
Find real online pharmacies on www.eDrugSearch.com; here, you can compare prices and save up to 50-85% off of your prescription medication costs. These pharmacies fulfill all critical safety criteria.
There are a few legitimate online Canadian pharmacies that do not work with a traditional pharmacy in Canada because they are now affiliated with licensed pharmacies in other nations.
However, they still have the Canadian moniker or at least the word “Canada” in their web addresses and maintain their original website and branding. Many of these pharmacies are safe and real; they will be straightforward and disclose the origin of the medications.
Knowing Where Your Medication is Coming From
It is important to be mindful of where your medications are actually coming from and who is making them. Prescription medications in United States pharmacies were not necessarily made in the United States. In fact, almost half of all prescription drugs sold in the US have been imported.
Additionally, pharmacies will not tell you who made the active ingredients. According to the FDA, 80% of active ingredients found in United States pharmacy prescription drugs were synthesized in other countries, usually in China or India.
The same is true for Canada and most other nations. However, you can seek comfort in the fact that many of these countries, including the United States, employ strong safety protocols to preserve their supplies of these drugs. It’s just that the supplies typically are more expensive in the United States.219