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FDA program takes aim at bogus prescription drugs

September 25, 2014

By Jean Williams

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a new program and resource Sept. 23 to help health care professionals protect patients by avoiding non-FDA approved, counterfeit drugs sold by rogue wholesale drug distributors.

The Know Your Source program seeks to educate health care professionals and practice administrators to only purchase prescription drugs from licensed wholesale distributors.  The program's Web page includes resources to vet drug distributors, including a map of the United States with links to proper authorities in each state that can verify a drug distributors' licensing.  Other resources include downloadable flyers.

Know your source graphic
The FDA Web page for Know Your Source includes flyers like this one and other resources to help health care professionals purchase drugs only from licensed drug distributors.
The program and its resources reinforce these tips from the FDA:

  • Beware of offers too good to be true: Aggressive marketing tactics and deep discounts on prescription drugs may indicate that the products are stolen, counterfeit, substandard or unapproved.
  • Ensure you receive FDA-approved prescription drugs. Drugs that are not FDA-approved may have unknown or harmful ingredients, or may not have been manufactured, transported or stored under proper conditions.
  • Buy from only wholesale drug distributors licensed in your state: While licensure alone is not a guarantee, looking for valid licensure in your state will help prevent unsafe and ineffective drugs from reaching your patients.

For more information, visit FDA's Know Your Source.