Canadian Pharmacists Association

Canadian Pharmacists Association

July 06, 2007 14:53 ET

CPhA: Internet Drug Death a Warning to Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 6, 2007) - Canada's first confirmed death from counterfeit drugs purchased over the internet reinforces long-stated concerns of the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA). A BC Coroner's report has concluded that pills bought from a fake online pharmacy are to blame for the March death of a Vancouver Island woman. These drugs were later determined to be contaminated with extremely high quantities of metal.

Dr. Jeff Poston, CPhA's Executive Director, commented, "Our advice is to buy your drugs from your local community pharmacy. Pharmacies and pharmacists are regulated and make patient safety their priority. Many internet pharmacies claim to be Canadian but in fact can be based anywhere in the world. A Canadian flag is no guarantee - nor can the origin and safety of drugs bought online be guaranteed."

Counterfeit and substandard drugs are becoming more common in the global marketplace. The World Health Organization has estimated that over 50% of drugs purchased over the internet from sites that conceal their true physical address are counterfeit.

According to Poston: "You can be putting yourself at risk by buying drugs online. Many internet drug sites have been created to look like legitimate Canadian pharmacies but you might receive counterfeit drugs with no active ingredients, drugs with substandard or dangerous ingredients, or drugs past their expiry date. You might receive an incorrect dose or no product at all. You also risk having your personal and credit card information stolen by organized crime. Even if these drugs do not harm you directly or immediately, your condition may get worse without effective treatment."

CPhA is also calling on Canadian pharmacists to be especially vigilant and discuss these issues with patients when necessary.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association is the national organization of pharmacists, committed to providing leadership for the profession and improving the health of Canadians.

Contact Information

  • To arrange an interview
    Canadian Pharmacists Association
    Louise Crandall
    Manager, Public Affairs
    613-523-7801 #267
    lcrandall@pharmacists.ca