Information update

Warning about Buying Prescription Drugs Online from:,, and

Starting date:
November 3, 2010
Posting date:
November 3, 2010
Type of communication:
Information Update
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Product Safety
General Public
Identification number:

Health Canada is informing Canadians about the potential dangers of buying prescription drugs online from the following websites:, and Health Canada has identified prescription drugs for sale on these websites that have not been authorized for sale in Canada. These products contain references to brand names and resemble drugs that have been authorized for sale in Canada. As such, Health Canada suspects these products are counterfeit.

This may lead consumers to believe they are purchasing drugs that have been reviewed for safety, efficacy and quality by Health Canada. It is important to note that counterfeit drugs may contain no active or unsuitable ingredients, or dangerous additives. To this end, counterfeit drugs may pose a higher risk than other forms of unauthorized drugs.

Prescription products that have been approved for sale in other countries, or generic products purporting to be the equivalent of authorized products, must still be reviewed by Health Canada and must receive their own market authorization or product licence before they may be sold in Canada.

Canadians who have used any products purchased at these websites, or are concerned about their health, should consult with their healthcare practitioner.

According to the Ontario College of Pharmacists, these websites are not associated with a licensed pharmacy in Ontario. In addition, some products sold on these websites have not been authorized for sale by Health Canada. Should these websites continue to sell unauthorized health products to Canadians, Health Canada will take appropriate compliance actions.

Patients taking prescription drugs without being examined and monitored by a health care practitioner may not receive the appropriate treatment to maintain or protect their health. They may also put themselves at risk for drug interactions or harmful side effects.

Consumers should also be aware that there is no assurance that all claims made on the Internet are reliable. Some Internet sites falsely claim to be Canadian pharmacies and dispense foreign drugs that are unauthorized for sale in Canada.

Canadians with questions or complaints about drugs purchased over the Internet can call Health Canada's toll-free line at 1-800-267-9675.

For more information about the risks of buying drugs online, please see Health Canada’s Information Update: Health Canada Reminds Consumers About the Risks of Buying Drugs Online. You may also see the It's Your Health article Buying Drugs over the Internet.

To report a suspected adverse reaction to these or other health products, please contact the Canada Vigilance Program of Health Canada toll-free at 1-866-234-2345, or complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and send it to us using one of these methods:

Media enquiries

Health Canada

Public enquiries