The FDA is warning that health products purchased online are at risk of being stolen or misused and potentially leading to more illnesses and deaths.
That’s because consumers can be easily tricked into purchasing counterfeit and misbranded products.
The FDA warns that counterfeit and potentially misbranded health products can pose serious health risks to consumers and put them at greater risk for contracting illnesses.
It’s also a concern that some online health products are mislabeled as medicines or even food products.
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 47 percent of U.S. adults have some form of chronic illness, such as diabetes or hypertension, and nearly half of them live in a rural area.
More:FDA warns that online health can pose ‘serious health risks’To prevent this, the FDA says consumers should be aware of the risks posed by health products they purchase online.FDA says that online shoppers should be careful to check product labels and verify the source of the product before they buy.
The agency warns that consumers who purchase online should use common sense when selecting health products that they might not be familiar with.
Fraudulent online health care providers can be quite lucrative and are increasingly becoming popular, said Dr. Anthony DeMaria, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Health insurance companies have already warned about fraud on their websites and in online health provider customer service lines.
Feds warn that online sellers of prescription drugs and health products could also pose serious risks, but are also concerned about the increasing number of counterfeit products on the market.
“In the case of counterfeit prescription medications, there is an increased risk of abuse and misuse, and a higher risk of deaths,” the FDA said.
“This can result in a greater number of deaths in the United States and elsewhere,” the agency said.
According the Centers in Health and Human Services, the number of opioid overdose deaths has been rising, and drug prices have been rising.
While counterfeit opioids and other drugs can be hard to detect, many of the products are hard to distinguish from the real thing.