Counterfeit Drug Identification
Counterfeit Drug Identification Checklist
How can you differentiate legitimate
pharmaceuticals from counterfeits? It’s not always easy, and some
fraudulent drugs mimic legitimate ones so well that, save for running
a laboratory test, it’s very difficult to tell the difference.
However, there are telltale signs of counterfeit drugs that should
raise a red flag if encountered. These signs include unanticipated
side effects and changes in:
Does the packaging look as though it’s been
Is the label on crooked? Is it different than the
label the prescription drug had before?
Are the pills cracked or chipped?
Has the pill changed color? Does it appear a shade
different from earlier prescriptions?
Did you experience any adverse affects? Did the drug
look or taste different? In the case that you answer ‘yes,’ report it.
Take action. By simply being proactive, you can make a difference in
your health or the health of a loved one.
Report these incidents to your local state board of
pharmacy as well as the board of pharmacy in the state where the
pharmacy is located. Also contact the pharmacy that mistakenly
dispensed the medication. The Verified Internet Pharmacy Site (VIPPS)
is required to document, track, and analyze these types of incidents
to verify problems and to prevent recurrences.
How to Report Suspected Counterfeits
If you suspect a drug you’ve purchased is counterfeit,
there are several things you can do:
Contact the Authorities
The Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch
program: 1-800-332-1088 or
The Pharmaceutical Security Institute:
• Contact the pharmaceutical manufacturer
• Contact the pharmacist who sold you the drug