Online pharmacies have become the target of a new federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) campaign warning consumers against using them.
The BeSafeRx campaign kicked off Friday in an effort to stem the growing number of consumers who go online to buy prescription drugs.
According to the Associated Press, there have been numerous cases of consumers being sold fake or tainted drugs from the online shops.
"Our goal is to increase awareness," Margaret Hamburg. FDA Commissioner, told The Associated Press, "not to scare people away from online pharmacies. We want them to use appropriate pharmacies."
“Buying medicines from rogue online pharmacies can be risky because they may sell fake, expired, contaminated, not approved by FDA, or otherwise unsafe products that are dangerous to patients," said said, according to CNN.
USA Today reported that a review by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy found that only three percent of online pharmacies followed state and federal laws.
The article mentioned that most consumers were unaware of how few of the pharmacies followed the rules.
CNN said the campaign recommends the following: choosing an online pharmacy that is located in the United States (a problem as many are in Canada where drugs are cheaper), that requires a "valid" prescription from a doctor, provides a licensed pharmacist for consultation and is licensed by the patient's state board of pharmacy.