April 21st, 2016
The online purchase of medications and counterfeited drugs (especially drugs for treating erectile dysfunction) has long been a topic of huge debate. However, the recent decision taken by well-reputed pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer about selling Viagra online has triggered serious discussions and concerns in different sectors.
Erectile dysfunction is a problem that is far more common than the reported statistics. Unfortunately, most men are hesitant to discuss it out in the open or seek medical help to investigate the actual cause. Most men find it rather easy to access information via internet, or order medications and drugs to manage the symptoms. No wonder why Viagra is one of the most counterfeited drug. Online purchasing deals for ED drugs attract men because they don’t have to talk about their sexual problems with a doctor (or even their partner). Also online drug purchase also saves money. However, this approach is wrong because online available ED drugs are not reliable as there is no proof of their safety and authenticity. Viagra is not the only concerned drug, other ED drugs like Cialis and Levitra are also counterfeited at a large scale.
Following are the risks that you can possibly face, when buying ED drugs online:
Counterfeiters work really hard in making a fake drug look like the real one. Mostly consumers are not able to differentiate between the original and fake product. Pfizer has studied visual differences between real Viagra and counterfeited Viagra. According to the researchers of Pfizer, the font size might be slightly changed and the colors on logo of Pfizer can differ too. However a common man may not notice such differences. So here are some red flagged signs which can tell whether you have a real or fake Viagra.
If you want to buy medicines online then make sure that you are buying from a legal online pharmacy. Now a days when it’s hard to figure out whether the medicine is real or not, authentication of online pharmacy websites are also difficult. Here are few points to consider when assessing an online pharmacy:
BeSafeRx is a web resource by FDA which provides each state’s board of pharmacy license database. This will help in finding out whether the online pharmacy is legitimate or not. While VIPPS (verified internet pharmacy practice sites) is a certification program by NABP. A VIPPS-certified pharmacy will have VIPPS seal on its websites, assuring its authenticity.
1. Vredenbregt, M. J., Blok-Tip, L., Hoogerbrugge, R., Barends, D. M., & De Kaste, D. (2006). Screening suspected counterfeit Viagra® and imitations of Viagra® with near-infrared spectroscopy. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, 40(4), 840-849.
2. Singh, S., Prasad, B., Savaliya, A. A., Shah, R. P., Gohil, V. M., & Kaur, A. (2009). Strategies for characterizing sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil and their analogues in herbal dietary supplements, and detecting counterfeit products containing these drugs. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 28(1), 13-28.
3. Rodomonte, A. L., Gaudiano, M. C., Antoniella, E., Lucente, D., Crusco, V., Bartolomei, M., … & Muleri, N. (2010). Counterfeit drugs detection by measurement of tablets and secondary packaging colour. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, 53(2), 215-220.
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