Purchasing medical products online may be a greater risk than you think.
Buying medications or medical implements online may seem like an easy and affordable option, but serious risks are involved.
With the growth of online shopping comes the increase of risky retailers. You may have ordered a product online at a shockingly low price, only to be disappointed with its quality upon arrival … that is, if it ever shows up. You would not be alone in being unable to confirm the quality of a product purchased online or the legitimacy of the provider, but purchasing medication online is different to other online purchases. It simply has much higher risks. It can harm your health, and you may unknowingly be breaking the law.
In other less dire circumstances, your order may not make it over the border, leaving you out of pocket and without medications.
In order to keep people safe, Australia has very strict laws and procedures for the testing, manufacture and dispensation of medication.
Medical devices and medications that are imported are not regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), meaning they could be contaminated, counterfeit or expired. They may even contain toxic chemicals or the wrong quantity of active ingredient, both of which can cause you serious harm. There is just no way of knowing exactly who has made these products and what has been put into them.
The TGA recommends consulting your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you take. Do some research into what exactly it is you are buying and who you are buying from. Finally, if a price or wild claim about results sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious of online medical retailers.
While they do not recommend purchasing any medical product from international sellers online, the TGA do have online resources such as the can I import it? page to help you determine what is most likely to be an illegal or dangerous product.
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.
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