FDA Warns Consumers Not to Buy or Use Prescription Drugs from Various Canadian Websites t. Page 1 of 2
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catherine McDermott, 301-827-6242Consumer Inquiries:
FDA Warns Consumers Not to Buy or Use Prescription Drugs
from Various Canadian Websites that Apparently Sell Counterfeit Products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase prescription drugs fromwebsites that have orders filled by Mediplan Prescription Plus Pharmacy or Mediplan Global Health in Manitoba,Canada following reports of counterfeit versions of prescription drug products being sold by these companies to U.S.
consumers. FDA is investigating these reports and is coordinating with international law enforcement authorities onthis matter.
FDA recommends that consumers who have purchased drugs from these websites not use the products because theymay be unsafe. Laboratory analyses are underway for intercepted product that was destined for the U.S. market.
Preliminary laboratory results to date have found counterfeits of the following drug products from these websites:Lipitor, Diovan, Actonel, Nexium, Hyzaar, Ezetrol (known as Zetia in the United States), Crestor, Celebrex, Arimidex,and Propecia. All of these medications require a prescription from a licensed health care provider to be legallydispensed.
ZETIA (US name) / EZETROL (Canadian name)
Some of the websites that are operated by Mediplan or that have order fulfillment through Mediplan are:
As a general matter, FDA advises consumers to use caution when buying medical products online. Although awebsite may appear reputable and similar to legitimate retail pharmacy websites, many actually operate from outsidethe U.S. and provide unapproved drugs from unreliable sources.
For example, in August of 2005, FDA conducted an operation at New York, Miami, and Los Angeles airports whichfound that nearly half of the imported drugs FDA intercepted from four selected countries were shipped to fill ordersthat consumers believed they were placing with “Canadian pharmacies.” Of the drugs being promoted as “Canadian,”based on accompanying documentation, 85 percent actually came from 27 other countries around the globe. Anumber of these products also were found to be counterfeit. These results demonstrated that some Internet sites thatclaimed to be “Canadian” were, in fact, selling drugs of dubious origin, safety and efficacy.
Today’s announcement is consistent with FDA’s earlier message of the dangers posed by such websites and theneed for caution on behalf of the public.
Drug counterfeiting is illegal for good reason. Drug counterfeiting defrauds consumers and can expose them to
FDA Warns Consumers Not to Buy or Use Prescription Drugs from Various Canadian Websites t. Page 2 of 2
products containing unknown, ineffective, or harmful ingredients. Counterfeit drugs may be toxic or contain doses thatare too small to treat a medical condition, or so large that they could endanger the health of the user. Because of thedangers posed by counterfeit drugs, the FDA aggressively investigates all instances of drug counterfeiting.
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