Ordering medication online is commonplace these days. But when your prescription arrives, do you know if it’s actually safe to take? There are hundreds of online pharmacies that have been distributing counterfeit, expired, or contaminated drugs. Fortunately, the FDA is finally taking action…
Are Your Drugs Legal or Illegal?
Prescription medications that are being sold online could be dangerous for consumption. There are countless sites that sell unapproved versions of particular drugs—that’s illegal! These websites are selling products that are either illicit, fake, poisonous replicas, or defective. This could include anything from antibiotics to sleeping aids to opioids.
The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) along with law enforcement agencies have been targeting these online vendors. There has been an effort on the part of global drug regulatory agencies to target and take action. The commissioner of the U.S. FDA explained that, “these online pharmacies are often run by sophisticated criminal networks.”
Because of this significantly concerning, illegal activity, the FDA has recently taken action to halt over 500 websites from selling medications online. Thirteen separate warning letters were issued to the sites by the FDA. Additionally, Internet registrars have assisted with the crackdown, resulting in the confiscation of 100 of the sites. It’s an admirable start.
Prescription Safety on a Global Scale
This seemingly legal distribution of illegal and potentially dangerous drugs is not just a problem in America. This is a global crisis. Interpol is the world’s largest police force with members including almost 200 countries. “Operation Pangea X” is a mission being led by Interpol to combat the sale of illicit medications online.
Drug Sale Concerns in America
Aside from the possibility of danger from contaminated drugs, there is also the concern of perpetuated and increased addiction—especially with opioid-based medications. This country is already experiencing an epidemic as far as prescription painkillers are concerned. Illegal distribution from online pharmacies does not help our quest to quell opioid addiction. Easy access to medications only fuels the critical dilemma.
Another associated problem with online drug-dealers is credit card and identity fraud. Many of these sites are run by huge crime networks—and they could be anywhere in the world! An innocent customer provides a credit card or a check and he/she can soon find him/her self in debt or with an emptied-out bank account.
A Prescription for Safety
The fact that one of the USA’s largest safety/protection agencies is taking action against this type of activity is a step in a positive direction. In the meanwhile, here are some safety tips for getting your prescription filled online:
Do not order from a website that advertises, “No prescription necessary.”
You can try looking up the legitimacy of an online pharmacy on sites such as legitscript.com; but, beware, some other “verified” sites are sponsored by illegal pharmaceutical dealers…
Use the website that is recommended by your insurance company
As with any circumstance involving medication, it’s always better to err on the side of safety and compilation of information. For other current, helpful tips on how to keep you and your family at its best in health, check out GetThrive.com