Medsafe warns of the dangers of purchasing medicines over the internet

Issue 51 – July 2013

Medsafe is warning about the dangers of buying medicines online following a joint Medsafe and Customs crackdown on substandard, illegal or counterfeit medicines.

Medsafe Manager Compliance Management Derek Fitzgerald says prescription medicines purchased online are risky because quality, safety, and effectiveness can't be guaranteed.

Prescription medicines are potent substances and as such should only be used following a consultation with a doctor.

Medsafe strongly encourages anyone intending to buy prescription medicines via the internet to consult their doctor who can advise on potential side effects, interactions with other medicines, and appropriate dosage.

Prescription medicines are referred to Medsafe by Customs to ensure compliance with New Zealand law. Most prescription medicines Medsafe detains are held until the importer provides a valid doctor's prescription – if this does not occur, they are destroyed.

Summarised from a Ministry of Health media release, 28 June 2013.

Published in health.