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Recognizing Counterfeits

While the U.S. drug supply supply is still the safest in the world, ASHP advises consumers to be particularly vigilant about their medications given the recent rise in counterfeiting.

ASHP recommends that consumers follow a few simple safety tips when taking medication:            

  • Pay attention to your medicine, particularly the instructions on how you should take it, the correct dosage, and warnings about interactions with other medications.
  • Talk to your pharmacist if your medication is:
    • Different than you’ve experienced before in shape, color, taste, smell, or feel
    • Packaged differently, or
    • Does not produce the expected results. This can be due to a number of reasons, including:
      • Your body’s response has changed over time (requiring a higher or lower dose),
      • An interaction has occurred among medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are taking or specific foods you are eating,
      • You have a new medical condition that changes the medication’s effectiveness, or
      • You have received a counterfeit product.
  • Be extremely careful when ordering medications on the Internet. To stay safe, only buy medications from pharmacy Web sites that post the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) symbol.