Skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs making consumers susceptible to counterfeit options

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The skyrocketing costs surrounding prescription drugs — have a lot of people looking for cheaper alternatives. And that means many are willing to hunt for bargains online.

People are dying after taking counterfeit drugs—many of them from out of the country according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

When you look for low-cost drugs online—you may be taking serious risks with your health.

“Make sure you are doing your research,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, the CEO of the BBB of Eastern North Carolina.

In a sampling of pills seized nationwide earlier this year, the DEA found that 27 percent contained potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. 

It’s a widespread problem.

And according to the Better Business Bureau, there are some less-than-credible sites  — pushing fake prescriptions that are often contaminated, have the wrong ingredients and sometimes even the wrong dosage. 

“We’ve heard reports of people receiving expired drugs, possibly drugs that are actually fake and don’t have any active ingredients,” said Wojciechowski.

The Better Business Bureau says there are some things you can do to ensure the website is legit:

  • Make sure the pharmacist is licensed. (You can do that by checking with the FDA….or the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.  
  • Make sure the pharmacist is asking for a prescription. That’s a mandatory requirement.
  • Make sure there’s a physical address and other legitimate contact information so you can ask the pharmacist any questions you may have.

Another red flag?  Consider this.  If the price on the drug looks like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. 
 
The Better Business Bureau warns you not to make the mistake of being lured in by a really low price.

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