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Why is it Cheaper to Buy Medicines Online?

by Libby Baney, Medications Expert
September 02, 2016

Question: Why is it cheaper to buy medicines online?

Answer: Medicines sold online may be cheaper than medicines sold at brick & mortar pharmacies because online drug sellers often do not sell safe, FDA-approved medicines. Instead these online drug sellers cut corners, procuring counterfeit and/or unapproved medicines from places where you wouldn't even drink the water. According to the World Health Organizations, 50% of the medicines sold online from websites that hide their physical address are counterfeit. Counterfeit medicines are often manufactured in unsafe and/or unregulated conditions, have no active ingredient or therapeutic value, or contain improper dosages of active ingredients. They may also contain dangerous substances such as floor wax, mercury, concrete, chalk, road tar, pain, anti-freeze and other poisons, leaving consumers at risk for serious adverse reactions or even death. In short, if the price for online medicines looks too good to be true it probably is.

Libby Baney is Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies or ASOP Global, an international non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the safety of consumers online. A lawyer and health advocate, she leads ASOP Global’s operations, shapes public policy and advocates for increased international attention to the issue of illegal online drug sellers in the U.S., European Union and Asia.

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