May 1, 2007 -- The FDA today strongly cautioned consumers about purchasing drugs from 24 web sites that may be involved in the distribution of counterfeit drugs.
The FDA links two of the 24 web sites to counterfeit versions of the weight loss drug Xenical.
The FDA says that Xenical's maker, the drug company Roche, tested three phony Xenical pills obtained from brandpills.com and pillspharm.com.
One phony Xenical pill contained the active ingredient in another weight loss drug. The two other fake Xenical pills contained only talc and starch, according to the FDA.
The FDA has previously linked four of the 24 web sites to counterfeit versions of the flu drug Tamiflu and counterfeit versions of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis.
Overseas Web Sites
The web sites, which the FDA says appear to be operated outside the U.S., are:
The 24 web sites appear on pharmacycall365.com under the "Our Websites" heading, the FDA notes.
FDA's Advice to Consumers
The FDA says consumers using online pharmacies should be wary if there is no way to contact a web site pharmacy by phone, if prices are dramatically lower than the competition, or if no prescription from your doctor is required.
The FDA's web site includes these safety tips for people buying prescription drugs online:
- Make sure the web site requires a prescription.
- Make sure the web site has a pharmacist available for questions.
- Buy only from licensed pharmacies located in the U.S.
- Don't provide personal information such as credit card numbers unless you're sure the web site will protect that information.
The FDA urges consumers to visit www.fda.gov/buyonline for more information before buying prescription drugs over the Internet.