The FDA has shut down 1,677 sites for selling counterfeit or substandard medication, or for selling drugs without appropriate safeguards. Other sites received regulatory warnings.
While the prices look good, you never really know what you’re getting. These products can have too much or too little of the active ingredient that people need for the treatment of their disease, and some could have toxic ingredients. Several of the sites had sleek interfaces and names that could easily be confused with legitimate pharmacies. Walgreens-Store.com, for example – the drugstore chain is actually Walgreens.com.
Though many of the sites present themselves as Canadian, most of them are based overseas – China, India, Pakistan, all around the world. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recently performed an analysis of over 10,000 websites and found that 97% did not fully comply with state and federal regulations. 88% didn’t require a valid prescription, and almost half of them sold medicines lacking FDA approval.