You never want to take any chances with your health and even if you are tempted by the claims or the attractive price of a pharmaceutical product it still makes plenty of sense to check it out before you buy or try.
The problem for many of us is that you want to be able to make a quick decision based on information you can normally rely upon.
Here is a look at how you can check out whether a product is legitimate or not.
Finding the fakes
It should go without saying that exposing your body to fake drugs could have disastrous consequences and, unfortunately, there are people who are willing to market a drug product that is not everything it claims to be.
The good news is that there are a number of sensible precautions you can follow and some quick tips that will help you to spot a fake before its too late.
Trust your eyes
There are all sorts of testing options for material verification available, and you can find out more at ThermoFisher, for instance, but a good starting point when trying to verify if a pharmaceutical product is legitimate is to carry out a visual inspection of the packaging and contents.
Use your intuition to see if anything about the packaging looks irregular or suspicious. Also. check for signs of tampering, such as if the security seal has been broken.
Some fake drug packaging will feature some poor spelling or unusual fonts or sizes compared to what you usually see on a legitimate product.
Another quick check you can do is to check the FDA approved a list of drugs to see whether the product is on there and whether the details and descriptions of what the drug is for matches what it claims on the packaging.
Another key point to verify is whether the dosage instructions are different to normal or don’t look right.
As part of the visual inspection already mentioned you should be wary if the dosage instructions on the packaging are written in poor English, the dosing recommendations are not what you export or are familiar with, and the proposed route of administration is different to usual.
If the dosage form strikes you as different to what it should be or it is suggesting using an alternative way to administer the drug, such as by ampule instead of a pre-filled syringe, these are all warning signs that you should not ignore.
Report any concerns
A quick check with your eyes and an online search that takes less a minute can be all you need to confirm your suspicions that you might be looking at a drug product that is not legitimate.
The FDA operates a MedWatch Safety Information program to report suspect medicines and it would be a good idea to consult a trusted healthcare professional if you have any suspicions about the legitimacy of a drug.
It can often only takes a few moments to check out the legitimacy of a drug product and that could turn out to be a time very well spent if it helps you to avoid taking a fake.