Reader Alert — Be Aware of Fake Online Pharmacies




Online pharmacies can be an easy and affordable way to stay on track with your prescription medicines. But it’s important to be a savvy consumer because fake online pharmacies are a growing problem.

These “pharmacies” use sophisticated marketing efforts or phony web storefronts to appear legitimate. Buying medicines from them may put your health at risk because the products may contain the wrong ingredients, too little or too much of the active ingredient, or other harmful substances.

The BeSafeRx — Know Your Online Pharmacy, a website offered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, provides resources for consumers to learn about the risks of purchasing from a fake or fraudulent online pharmacy, how to identify them and how to find legitimate online pharmacies from which to purchase medications.

According to the BeSafeRX site, the following are signs of a fake online pharmacy:

  • Allow you to buy drugs without a prescription from your doctor
  • Offer deep discounts or cheap prices that seem too good to be true
  • Send spam or unsolicited email offering cheap drugs
  • Are located outside of the United States
  • Are not licensed in the United States

Tips for identifying safe online pharmacies:

  • Always require a doctor’s prescription
  • Provide a physical address and telephone number in the United States
  • Offer a pharmacist to answer your questions
  • Have a license with your state board of pharmacy

Find your state’s pharmacy licensing database.

Visit BeSafeRx — Know Your Online Pharmacy for more information, and let’s be careful out there!

This information is provided as a resource to our readers. The tips, products or resources listed have not been reviewed or endorsed by the American Stroke Association.

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