The Straits Times
Published on Sep 29, 2012

US agency warns of fake online pharmacies


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a national campaign on Friday alerting consumers to the risks of phony web pharmacies.

The warning comes as nearly one in four people who shop online say they have bought prescription drugs on the Internet, according to the FDA.

"Buying medicines from rogue online pharmacies can be risky because they may sell fake, expired, contaminated, not approved by FDA, or otherwise unsafe products that are dangerous to patients," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.

"Fraudulent and illegal online pharmacies often offer deeply discounted products. If the low prices seem too good to be true, they probably are." False online drug stores use sophisticated marketing techniques or fake Web storefronts to make themselves appear legitimate, the FDA said.