Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults in a recent Food and Drug Administration survey reported buying prescription drugs online, the agency said Friday—but those purchases could carry significant risks.
The FDA is launching a new campaign, BeSafeRX, to educate consumers about the dangers of illegal online pharmacies. Bogus pharmacies sometimes sell drugs that are counterfeit, past their expiration date and/or contain dangerous ingredients, the FDA warned.
Consumers can use the California Board of Pharmacy website to look up a pharmacy and find out if it has a legitimate license.
Here are some additional tips from the FDA's campaign website:
Avoid online pharmacies that:
Allow you to buy drugs without a prescription or by completing an online questionnaire
Offer discounts or cheap prices that seem too good to be true
Send unsolicited email or other spam offering cheap medicine
Ship prescription drugs worldwide
State that the drugs will be shipped from a foreign country
Are located outside of the United States
- Are not licensed by a state board of pharmacy in the United States (or equivalent state health authority)
Would you feel safe buying prescription drugs online? Tell us in the comments.