Many patients believe that buying their medication from the internet is the best way to save money while receiving the same caliber of care they have come to expect from their doctor and pharmacy. Unfortunately, counterfeit drugs and fraud are a serious problem plaguing the internet, harming patients and pharmaceutical companies alike. Purchasing counterfeit medication can have serious repercussions.
Because counterfeit medication may be contaminated, made with the wrong ingredients, or contain no active ingredient, taking it is dangerous. In addition to not correctly treating the problem for which they were prescribed, they may actually cause additional health problems or even death. In addition to the health hazards, many websites that sell counterfeit medication will steal their customers’ purchasing information and sell it to other unscrupulous website owners.
If you have ordered your medication off the internet, make sure you look it over thoroughly before taking it. Does the bottle or plastic blister packaging look different from the last time you filled your prescription? Is the label crooked, or has the packaging been tampered with in anyway? Making sure the safety seals are in place before ingestion is a good idea for any medication, but especially with internet medication. Do pills look the same as your previous bottle? Are they cracked, chipped, or broken? Are the color and texture the same? If any of these factors appear different or unusual, contact your state board of pharmacy to report counterfeiting.
Many medical packaging companies have designed pharmaceutical serialization solutions to make counterfeiting medicine more difficult. Pharmaceutical serialization allows manufacturers to trace each drug in a batch to make sure that it gets to its destination un-tampered-with. By adding track and trace serialization to pharmaceutical packaging, manufacturers cut down on the instances of pharmaceuticals being stolen and replaced with counterfeit products.
By preventing counterfeit medication from entering the market, pharmaceutical manufacturers are ensuring the physical and financial health of their consumers.