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Do Medicines Bought Online have Special Packaging?

by Libby Baney, Medications Expert
August 18, 2017

Question: Do medicines bought online have special packaging?

Answer: Medicines that are not controlled substances and are bought online should have the same labeling and packaging as those dispensed in your local pharmacy.  In some cases, medications that require controls, such as a cooler temperature, will have different packing than medications picked up in a pharmacy.  
Federal law prohibits the sale of medications in the U.S. that have not been approved by the FDA, including the sale of medications over the internet.   Variable labeling and packaging, when purchasing medicines for sale from foreign countries, generally means that the medication does not satisfy U.S. FDA regulations and has not been approved by FDA. According to FDA, in most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use because the drug is unapproved and FDA cannot ensure the drug's safety and effectiveness.  

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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