Most Online Pharmacies Are Really Fake Websites Selling Illegal, Tainted or Counterfeit Drugs

According to the FDA, 97% of all online pharmacies are illegal and/or not conforming to legal regulations

Beware of Illegal Web Pharmacies Claiming to Be Canadian Pharmacies
Image: Pixabay
February 1, 2019

Thanks to the Internet, you can buy practically anything today from the ordinary to the exotic. Buying medications is no exception. You can find nearly any medication you want with a quick search. Unfortunately, nearly all online web pharmacies are illegal, selling not only controlled substances that can't be purchased online but also dangerous counterfeit and tainted medications.

Safe to assume it's not legal

Not all online pharmacies are illegal. Some operate perfectly within the law and must have brick and mortar locations and must be licensed in each state in which they conduct business. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that the vast majority of websites claiming to be legal online pharmacies are, in fact, not legal. The FDA analyzed a random sample of 10,000 websites purporting to be online pharmacies. Of those 10,000, 97% were illegal or not conforming to legal regulations. So it's safe to say that the online pharmacies you find in web results are not legal or safe.

It's hard to know which is real

It's hard to know who is on the other end of the Internet. Just because a website claims to be a legitimate pharmacy and "legally approved," it's likely not the case. Because of a lack of awareness of the issue and the similarity of these sites compared to legitimate sites, it's hard for the consumer to know who is on the other end. These websites use layouts the mimic other legitimate sites, use clever wording to convince you of the legitimacy, and try to lure you in with medication you might not be able to get otherwise.

It's pretty safe to say that the pharmacy is fake if you can order a drug on the website that you can't get locally without a prescription. If the pharmacy is selling any opioids, it's definitely not legal. U.S. citizens cannot legally import prescription drugs from other counties and opioids cannot be purchased online or shipped.

Online pharmacies often scam consumers

If a person or company is selling drugs illegally online or selling counterfeit drugs, the risks are much higher that you will also be scammed. Many illegal online website pharmacies operate various schemes, including non-shipment of the product, unauthorized recurring subscriptions, and credit card theft. You shouldn't be giving any personal or financial information to a bad actor online. You have no idea where the person is or what the person will do with your information.

Canadian pharmacies aren't any better

Many online 'pharmacies' claim to be Canadian pharmacies in an attempt to convince consumers that they are better than other web pharmacies. In reality, they aren't usually based in Canada and usually don't make their medications in Canada. It's just another trick these bad actors use to get you to let your guard down and make a purchase.

Check the legitimacy of an online pharmacy

It's easy to check the legitimacy of many online pharmacies by using a free tool from the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies. Simply enter the URL of the online pharmacy into the search tool.

May be better to purchase locally

With the proliferation of these rogue websites masquerading as online pharmacies, you should consider whether it would be a better option to purchase your drugs locally. Not only can you get your drugs quickly, but you can be assured that your medication is safe, untainted, and legitimate.