Risks of Online Pharmacies

October 4, 2012

The Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) commends the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for launching the national BeSafeRx campaign last Friday.  MPA and Missouri pharmacists have worked aggressively for more than six years to warn Missourians about the dangers of rogue online pharmacies and the importation of prescription drugs from outside of the United States.  The FDA developed the BeSafeRx campaign to create public awareness about the dangers of these pharmacies and the drugs they distribute.

The drugs that consumers are receiving may look real, but they can contain counterfeit, contaminated, expired or unsafe substances. The FDA has reviewed medications approved for use in the United States, but those coming from outside the United States have not received approval.

The FDA encourages consumers to beware of pharmacies that offer the following:

  • Allow the purchase of drugs without a prescription from your doctor
  • Offer deep discounts
  • Send unsolicited emails offering cheap drugs
  • Are located outside of the United States
  • Are not licensed in the United States

By filling medications at a local pharmacy, you not only know the source of the drugs, but your local pharmacist also will be able to assist you with any questions you may have. In addition, your local pharmacist can provide information on the prescriptions you are taking, what over-the-counter products you can take with them, and the side effects of the drugs.

October is American Pharmacist Month, and many local pharmacies will be holding events to assist you with your health and medication knowledge. Pharmacists consistently rank at the top of the most trusted health care professionals, according to a Gallup survey of the integrity of professionals. So, now is the time to visit your local pharmacy and get the answers to your medication questions.

For additional information about the BeSafeRx program, go to www.fda.gov.

Established in 1879, the Missouri Pharmacy Association’s (www.MORx.com) mission is to promote the role of pharmacists in patient care relationships as the medication expert.

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