OTTAWA, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Counterfeit health products might not just
be a consumer ripoff, they can also be dangerous to your health.
While counterfeit health products may look like the ones you use every
day, they have not been reviewed by Health Canada for safety, quality
or effectiveness. They may also contain hidden ingredients not listed
on the label, dangerous additives and/or contaminated ingredients. In
addition, they may lack the active ingredients Canadians would expect
them to contain to help them maintain and improve their health. For all
of these reasons, they could cause serious health effects.
Consumers should read the label of the products they buy to verify that
the products have been assessed by Health Canada. Health products that
have been authorized for sale by Health Canada will have an eight-digit
Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Homeopathic Medicine Number
(DIN-HM) or a Natural Product Number (NPN) on the label. Some natural
health products may have an Exemption Number (EN), which indicates that
the product is legally available for sale while Health Canada is
reviewing its application for licensing.
Canadians should be especially careful when purchasing health products
online, particularly from sites that offer to provide prescription
drugs without requiring you to be seen in-person by a health care
professional. This should raise questions about the quality of the
product you are buying and whether it is potentially harmful.
When Health Canada identifies or is advised of counterfeit products, we
work with the Canada Border Services Agency to stop the importation of
any potential shipments from entering Canada. When counterfeit products
are found on the Canadian market, Health Canada takes appropriate
action to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
Health Canada has previously informed Canadians about counterfeit
prescription products Cialis and Viagra , H1N1 products, and toothbrushes that had been found on the Canadian market. Health Canada also
informed Canadians when the RCMP dismantled a counterfeit drug network.
Health Canada encourages Canadians to monitor its list of affected products, which is updated every time a new counterfeit product is identified on
the Canadian market.
Canadians with questions or complaints about counterfeit drugs or drugs
purchased over the Internet can call Health Canada's toll-free line at
For more information about the risks of buying drugs online, please visit Health Canada's website. You may also visit an It's Your Health article: Buying Drugs over the Internet.
How to report side effects to health products to Health Canada:
Call toll-free at 1-866-234-2345
Visit MedEffect Canada's web page on Adverse Reaction Reporting for information on how to report online, by mail or by fax
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SOURCE Health Canada
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