VERIFY: FDA Email About Your RX Drugs Isn't Real


QUESTION:

Is a new scam targeting people who purchase their medications through online pharmacies and over the phone?

ANSWER:

Yes, the FDA warns this phishing scam could be an international exploitation scheme.

SOURCES:

FDA press release

FDA tweets

PROCESS:

High prescription drug prices can drive some to cheaper options online, but not all online pharmacies are safe and could put your personal info and health at risk.

Some people on social media claimed a new scam is targeting folks who buy medication over the phone or online.

Our Verify researchers confirmed the warning is legit. The Food & Drug Administration, which regulates pharmaceutical manufacturers, announced July 13 that consumers should be on the lookout for fake phishing emails purporting to be from the FDA.

The emails claim that the recipient illegally purchased drugs that were misbranded or unapproved from an online pharmacy. It continues to list all the federal codes, the recipient allegedly broke.

The FDA generally does not issue warning letters to individuals who buy medication online.

“While warning letters are a common compliance tool used by the FDA, we typically send them directly to companies and individuals involved in the manufacturing or distribution of FDA-regulated products,” FD Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

“Consumers who aren’t involved in manufacturing or distributing FDA regulated products should be on alert that if you get an FDA warning letter, it’s probably fake, and probably a scam,” Gottlieb said.

The agency believes the emails occur after purchasing medications from an unlicensed online pharmacy: instead of getting the meds, you’ll get slammed with a scam email. The agency believes the letters are part of an international extortion scheme.

Any consumer who believes they may have received a fake warning letter should email FDAInternetPharmacyTeskForceCDER@fda.hhs.gov.

There’s always a risk when purchasing medication online. Make sure they require a valid prescription upon checkout, that they’re based in the United States and are licensed by your state board of pharmacy.

For more information check out BeSafeRx on the FDA’s site.

© 2018 WUSA



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