FDA Issues Caveat Emptor Warning on Canadian Pharmacies

Discussion
Sep 01, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers not to buy prescription drugs from a number of Canadian web sites over concerns about counterfeit drug sales.


According to the agency’s warning, consumers should not buy prescription drugs from web sites that have orders filled by Mediplan Prescription Plus Pharmacy or Mediplan Global Health in Manitoba, Canada. There have been reports these companies have sold counterfeit versions of prescription medicines to consumers in the U.S.


The FDA is also recommending consumers who may have purchased prescriptions from these companies to not take them because of safety issues. So far, the agency has found counterfeit versions of Lipitor, Diovan, Actonel, Nexium, Hyzaar, Ezetrol or Zetia, Crestor, Celebrex, Arimidex, and Propecia have made there way into the U.S. from Canada.


The agency also added an advisory that consumers use caution when buying prescriptions online. According to an agency press release, “Although a Web site may appear reputable and similar to legitimate retail pharmacy Web sites, many actually operate from outside the U.S. and provide unapproved drugs from unreliable sources.”


Web sites identified by the FDA that are either operated by Mediplan or have orders filled by the company are:


  • www.RxNorth.com

  • www.Canadiandrugstore.com

  • www.Rxbyfax.com

  • www.Northcountryrx.com

  • www.Canada-pharmacy.com

  • www.My-canada-pharmacy.com

  • www.NLRX.com

  • www.Canampharmacy.com

  • www.Canada-Meds-For-Less.net

  • www.Canadian-safe.com

Discussion Questions: What do you see as the issues related to consumers going online to purchase less expensive prescription medicines? Does this latest
case make the point for retail pharmacy groups, the federal government and others in the U.S. who are opposed to giving consumers access to prescription medicine sources outside
the country?

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4 Comments on "FDA Issues Caveat Emptor Warning on Canadian Pharmacies"


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David Livingston
Guest
14 years 6 months ago

Let the buyer beware. Don’t use a website to buy your Rx unless you check it out first. I think I would ask a Canadian pharmacist who is in the business and get his recommendation. I would imagine that pharmacists who work in border towns like Windsor or Niagara Falls would be able to lead consumers to a good web Rx retailer.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
14 years 6 months ago

It occurs to me that the FDA is working for us. Would it, then, benefit us if the FDA could approve various Canadian pill providers rather than disapproving some? As we know, disapproval of those named is not tacit approval of those unnamed. If the FDA did the research required to condemn some Canadian suppliers, did they also find that some were OK?

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 6 months ago

Although the Mediplan pharmacies listed by FDA allegedly sold counterfeit drugs, these are rare exceptions. Almost all Canadian and Mexican pharmacies deal honestly, so their customers have no risk. American drug manufacturers worry that their profits are reduced by Americans who buy their drugs in Mexico and Canada. No American would go to the trouble of buying drugs from Mexico or Canada if the drugs were more affordable domestically. People only do this because they’re desperate. Medicare Part D reduced some of the desperation, but many people can’t afford the “doughnut” and many people aren’t eligible for Medicare Part D. I’d be surprised if this Mediplan scandal substantially reduces Canadian and Mexican drug sales to Americans. Which is the larger danger: counterfeit drugs or going without drugs you can’t afford because of domestic prices?

Bernice Hurst
Guest
14 years 6 months ago

Suspicious creature that I am, this does not convince me in the least. I know I read the “wrong” newspapers but I would really like to know whether people trust either the FDA or drug companies. Either or both come under the heading “they would say that.” While I would be cautious about buying drugs online because I might not trust the companies selling them, I am also very cautious about accepting blanket warnings such as these. I’m not convinced at all that just because drugs come from outside the US they are likely to be either counterfeit or dangerous. Slinging this mud around just muddies the waters. It doesn’t clarify the issues.

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