Are medicinal products from the internet safe?
Medicinal products are often expensive and the prices in pharmacies have become proverbial. Thus, the internet age has resulted in more and more people hunting for bargains and also ordering their medicines on the internet. This is ok in principle. Everyone should consider, however, whether their health is more important to them than saving a few Euros. Because there are considerable dangers on the internet. Through prescriptions issued online, patients are lulled in false security. Web pages are copied to be deceptively similar, and give the user the feeling of being on a page they know and they trust.
Tips for buying medicinal products online
To put things right, a register was created of those pharmacies, which may legally sell medicinal products by post in Germany. The German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) offers a database, where you can find out, which pharmacies have such permission. Just follow this link (German only).
The German Ministry of Health and the Council of Europe have compiled the following notes regarding ordering pharmaceuticals on the internet: Pharmaceuticals and internet flyer (German only).
Also the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, BfArM) provides advice on how to be on the safe side when buying medicinal products online: advice from BfArM (German only).
The German Federal Criminal Police Office has also brought out a flyer regarding buying medicinal products on the internet: BKA flyer (German only).
Warnings by the authorities
The competent authorities regularly warn about ordering of medicinal products elsewhere through the internet, based on the results of the tests of these preparations performed by InphA:
- “Regional Council warns of new Slimming drugs” (04.05.2016)
Scientists, authorities and media make use of InphA’s testing results to raise awareness and warn consumers: