The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public against buying medicine online, after the agency learned that some of these were counterfeit products.
“The FDA warns the public from buying medicines on-line (sic) until such time that the FDA can assure safety, efficacy and quality of medicine sold through this medium,” FDA Advisory No. 2013-043 read.
In a recent investigation of the FDA with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, they found out that an online hub was responsible for selling these fake multivitamins.
“[FDA] has monitored counterfeit multivitamins + mineral tablets, [like] Centrum and Centrum Silver of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (PCH), that are being advertised, sold or offered for sale on-line thru Beeconomic Philippines, Inc., owned and operated by GROUPON Philippines,” it said.
Groupon Philippines was not immediately available for comment.
The investigation showed that labels of the counterfeit Centrum and Centrum Silver products differed from the FDA-registered products in the following ways:
a) The counterfeit products do not bear the FDA Certificate of Product Registration Number and do not contain the same formulation approved by the FDA.
b) The counterfeit products do not carry the complete name and address of the manufacturer and/or distributor as required by the FDA.
c) The font size of the generic name multivitamin + mineral does not conform to the labeling requirements of RA No. 6675, otherwise known as the Generics Law of 1988, which requires that the generic name should at least be one point size bigger than the brand name.
Likewise, the FDA advised consumers to buy their medicine only from agency-approved establishments, and to check the medicine label the products they are buying online or offline.