Safe Medicines


One of the most dangerous things you can do to reduce the cost of your medicines is to buy from an online pharmacy not certified by the VIPPS program. Every month another story comes out somewhere in the world about how someone is caught selling or purchasing counterfeit drugs. Counterfeit drugs can contain little or no active ingredient, meaning that the condition you're taking medication for will not be healed.

Worse, in some cases a counterfeit drug may contain harmful ingredients, like this incident in 2008 where hundreds of Nigerian parents unknowingly killed their own children by giving them counterfeit teething medicine that had diethylene glycol (antifreeze) added to it.

NeedyMeds is a part of a global group fighting counterfeit drugs: the Partnership for Safe Medicines, which educates the public, policymakers, and health professionals about the dangers of counterfeit drugs. The informational handouts below will help you learn about the dangers of buying drugs online.

Buying drugs online and from Canada

Before you order from that Canadian web pharmacy, learn about why that web site isn't a pharmacy, and might not even be in Canada.

  1. What You Don't Know About Importing Drugs From Canada
  2. Learn which pharmacies are Verified Internet Pharmacies (VIPPS)
  3. Tips for safe online buying

For a sense of the ongoing dangers that counterfeit drugs pose to consumers, browse this map of counterfeit drug incidents around the world compiled by the Partnership

View larger map