According to the WHO, fake medicines kill more than 700 000 people annually. The organization regularly conducts large-scale inspections, publishes the results on its website, after which the member countries of this world organization issue internal orders for the prohibition of certain drugs. The WHO states that more than 50% of the drugs that are sold on the Internet are fake.
In June 2016, Interpol jointly with the UN and WHO carried out a special operation “Pangea IX”, after which 4932 online pharmacies in 49 countries were closed, 12 million packs of counterfeit medicines and 270,000 medical products were confiscated. Before the pharmacies were closed, they managed to earn about 50 million dollars on trustful buyers. A lot of fake meds were anti-ED ones, such as “cheap Viagra” and “herbal Viagra”.
FDA advice on how to avoid buying fakes in online pharmacies
The US Food and Drug Administration is giving the Americans some useful advice that will be useful to you too:
1. Do not buy medicines on sites where the phone number and physical address of the pharmacy are not specified.
2. Do not buy RX medicines without a doctor’s prescription (such as OTC Viagra).
3. Do not buy drugs in pharmacies, where prices are much lower than those on competitors’ websites.
4 Do not enter credit card data on sites with an open protocol “http: //”. If the URL starts with “https: //”, then the website encrypts the connection, and your personal information will not fall into the hands of scammers if you decide to purchase cheap Viagra online, for example.
How to avoid buying fakes in regular pharmacies
1. Check the pharmacy. Shiny floor and the smiling staff of the pharmacy are not a guarantee of quality and safety of the products. Do not buy medicines in unintentional places and always check the pharmacy license (usually it hangs in the consumer zone).
2. Check the medicine package. Visual control will save you from rough falsification. The packaging should be made of quality materials, have familiar colors, and braille. It is a warning sign if the packaging of your medication is changed over and over again.
3. The data on the package and in the instructions must be identical. The name of the medicine, the address of the manufacturer, the expiration date, the series of release, the registration certificate and the amount of active ingredient on the package, blister and in the instruction, must coincide. Do not buy medicines without packaging and instructions.
4. Check medicines without leaving the pharmacy. According to the law of some countries, medicines cannot be exchanged and returned, so check the medicines without departing from the counter.
5. Check following the storage requirements of the medicine. If the instruction says that the drug should be stored at a temperature of 5-8 degrees, and the pharmacy worker takes it directly from the shelf (not from the fridge), don’t purchase it.