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Buying Medicines Online: Know the Risks

At present, Karen Kaye, deputy CEO of the NPS (National Prescribing Service), says less than one per cent of Australians over 50 buy their medicine online.

With this trend likely to grow the concern is that many websites selling medicines are not legitimate.

Although they look professional and trustworthy, these so-called "rogue" sites are illegal and mostly operating from overseas.

Thus consumers who inadvertently order medicines from these sites can't know for sure exactly what they're getting.

Kaye warns that unless a website is reputable consumers risk buying medicines that are:

• contaminated or counterfeit (fake)
• past their use by date
• not approved for sale in Australia
• not manufactured to appropriate standards
• not labeled, stored or shipped correctly

When you shop at a rogue site, you're wasting your money and may even be breaking the law – it's illegal to bring some medicines into Australia by post.

But worst of all, you're jeopardizing your health.