Warning letters sent to websites accused of selling medication without prescriptions

So, how do you know a website is legitimate?
So, how do you know a website is legitimate?
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 9:17 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Federal officials are warning that buying medication online without a prescription could put your life at risk.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently sent joint warning letters to two websites accused of selling medicine online without requiring a prescription. If you order from sites like this, it could be dangerous.

“(It) could be counterfeit, it could contain too much or too little of the active ingredient,” said Mandy Leonard of the Cleveland Clinic. “It may contain no medication at all, or it could be a completely different medication.”

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So, how do you know if a website is legitimate?

The Cleveland Clinic says the website should:

  • require a prescription
  • have a US-listed phone number and street address
  • have a licensed pharmacist available to answer questions.
  • and if the price seems too good to be true -- it probably is.

Substances included on the websites that received the letters include Schedule II stimulants, including amphetamine products marketed as Adderall.

“This action underscores the FDA’s commitment to use all available regulatory and compliance tools to stop online businesses illegally selling potentially harmful drug products to consumers,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “The illegal sale of prescription drug stimulants online puts Americans at risk and contributes to potential abuse, misuse, and overdose.”

The warning letters were issued to:

“These letters are not only a warning to the companies that illegally sell prescription medications, but they also serve as a warning to consumers who have bought or have considered buying medications online without a legitimate prescription,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

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