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97 Percent of Online Pharmacies Are Unsafe

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97 Percent of Online Pharmacies Are Unsafe

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

Only 3 percent of online pharmacies are safe to use, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

The vast majority of web-based medication merchants fail to meet the U.S. standards for pharmaceutical quality and safety.

A recent Federal Drug Administration (FDA) survey found that 25 percent of internet shoppers have used an internet drugstore to purchase their prescription medication, despite the fact that almost one-third of respondents admitted that they were not sure how to determine a website’s authenticity and safety.

The Hidden Costs of Cheaper Meds

The online pharmacy model, lures consumers in with the promise of inexpensive medications that can conveniently be ordered from the couch. This scenario can be particularly attractive for those trying to save money in a down economy.

But, taking advantage of this seemingly win-win situation can result in severe consequences, particularly if you’re taking several different prescriptions to manage multiple health conditions.

According to the FDA, faux pharmacies present a variety of potential dangers for the unwary shopper.

A lot of online pharmacies aren’t controlled by the FDA, so the medications they’re selling don’t have to meet the FDA’s requirements for effectiveness and safety.

When you purchase prescriptions over the internet, you run the risk of receiving medications that are expired, counterfeit, contaminated, or made with different ingredients than their federal and state-regulated counter-parts. Any one of these issues can drastically affect the effectiveness and safety of a particular prescription drug.

Identity fraud is another hazard of using unknown online pharmacies.

Many web-based brokers don’t have the necessary defenses in place to protect sensitive information. Some even exist solely as fronts to steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting consumers.

Related:
The Dangers of Buying Prescriptions Online
How To Buy Medications Online Safely
Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Medications
97 Percent Of Online Pharmacies Unsafe, Warns FDA originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

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By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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47 comments

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6:14AM PST on Feb 28, 2013

Thank you AgingCare, for Sharing this!

6:15PM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

That's horrific, people need protection.

12:31PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

noted, thx for the info

12:25PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Thanks Lee G. for an excellent and helpful reply!

12:02PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Thanks for the info.

3:42AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Interesting as a number of drug companies don't like the Canadian on line sites because prices are lower. Some are popular with some Americans because the prices in Canada are less expensive and there have been quite a number of Americans living in border towns that have crossed the border to obtain medications. One would be prudent to use caution when buying on line but that goes for practically everything.

3:18AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

good to know.

12:31AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

good-to-know.

10:18PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

I would like to commend those who pointed out that this study, paid for by an interested party, is almost certainly biased, and should not be accepted uncritically. It would be like accepting a report by the Meat Packers Association that vegetarianism is unhealthy!

8:58PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

Depends...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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