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Counterfeit Drugs: Am I At Risk if I Buy Drugs Online?


Updated November 07, 2008

Question: Counterfeit Drugs: Am I At Risk if I Buy Drugs Online?

A question from a reader: I want to buy cheap drugs online but I’m worried about counterfeit drugs that could make me sick. I heard that many counterfeit drugs are made in places like China and India.

People in China and India get sick and take medicine too. So why am I at risk if I buy medicines from there?


For the most part, people in China and India get their medications from doctors, hospitals, drugstores, and herbal medicine stores. Much of this medication is safe and manufactured by government-regulated companies, which may or may not meet the same standards that we have in the U.S.

Drug counterfeiting occurs less frequently in the United States than in other countries because of regulations that oversee the production, prescribing, and sales of medications, and the strict enforcement against violators. These regulations are enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

When you buy medications from online drugstores that have not been certified, you are running the risk of getting a counterfeit drug, many of which have been made in illegal laboratories in China and India (but not necessarily sold there).

There are safe ways to buy medication online to lessen your risk of getting a counterfeit drug. If you are going to buy online, choose a reliable online drugstore and also learn how to recognize counterfeit medications. You may find the following articles helpful:

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