ABU DHABI, Sep 15: — Health authorities have warned the public against illusive and vague electronic messages about drugs at rock-bottom prices that they believe are usually counterfeit and could cause fatality.
The authorities’ warning came following surge of web sites tempting people to purchase drugs, specially impotence medicines at lower costs than the original prices accompanied with other alluring services like a free, fast and discreet delivery.
A case in point is that of some generic medicines published on a web site at lower prices, namely Viagra and Cialis (impotency drugs), Xanax and Valium (anti-depression), Ambien (pain killer) and Meridia for weight loss.
The producing company's name, physical address or other contact information was not mentioned in the web site. ‘People should not trust these web site messages because they are not coming from reputable or known places. Most of the electronically advertised medicines are counterfeit and could in some cases result in fatality’, warned Dr Mohammed Abualkhair, Head of Drugs and Medical Products Department at the General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (GAHS). He cautioned that claims that the product is natural or non-toxic does not necessarily mean safe as some natural supplements contain potent stimulants while others can result in negative interactions with medicines.
Another benefit claimed by the ad was complete confidentiality and a discrete shipment as the package will not mention the contents of the shipments. Resending the medicines in case the order was lost, was also offered free of charge.
Other medications for HIV treatment, diabetes, allergies, sleep disorder, muscle relaxation, blood pressure as well as products for aiding smokers to stop the habit, were also published in the on-line ad.
Dr Abulkhair noted claims that the products is a scientific breakthrough or ancient remedy and that the customer could avail a money-back guarantee, are misleading and that customers should be aware of such fraud.
‘Customers need to be aware that the Internet has also created a marketplace for unapproved medical products, illegal prescribing and products marketed with fraudulent health claims’. About the safest way to curb these false ads, the official commended as most of these web sites are outside the UAE, entry points of the country should heighten inspection to appropriate fake products