Prescription Drug Scams – Counterfeits

Buying medication online can be quick and convenient, but before you place your order you should be aware of the risks.

Counterfeit prescription drugs are illegal and could be dangerous to your health so it’s important to do your research before buying medications online.

Alyssa Parker with the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Central North Carolina says the first step is to find a reputable pharmacy. She adds, “We definitely suggest going through the North Carolina State Board of Pharmacy as well as the FDA.”

Counterfeit prescriptions are not made by pharmaceutical companies and will not have the same effect as the drugs they claim to be. Experts say counterfeits can be contaminated, contain wrong ingredients or no active ingredients at all. They could also have the right ingredients but with the wrong dosage so it’s important to pay attention to what you’re buying and who you’re buying from.

In 2018, nearly 12,000 counterfeit products and online purchase scams were reported to BBB Scam Tracker.

Before purchasing prescriptions online, Parker suggests consumers check that the online pharmacy requires a valid prescription, there is a physical address and telephone number in your country and a licensed pharmacist is available to answer questions.

Here are the Troubleshooter Takeaways:

Check the state’s online database to make sure the seller is properly licensed.Also know your medications, like the size, shape, color, taste and side effects. This will make it easier to spot possible fakes.
Make sure you pay attention to packaging and check for altered or unsealed containers or changes in the label.If you do notice anything different about your medication or the packaging, contact your local pharmacist and ask them to check it out.