Some women who thought they were getting a great deal on birth control, may be getting babies instead. That's a new concern from the government.
The Food and Drug Administration is warning that prescription drugs that come from Canada may actually have been made in some other foreign market like India, the Philippines, or Thailand.
According to the FDA, some foreign drug makers are abusing Canada's good name, by simply renting warehouses there to store and ship poor quality prescription medications to Americans, who assume they're getting Canadian quality drugs.
"Protections that Congress has put into place and that have worked so well for 50 years could be circumvented by consumers bypassing the system," says Tom McGuinnis, FDA.
"We've received complaints about $12,000 of fraud, where they've been charged for the medication but never received the medication," says Carmen Catizoe, DPH, National Pharmacy Board.
But the FDA says even if you order drugs from a foreign market and get it, they may not work. For example, these fake birth control patches from India are a real bargain, but they contain no contraceptive drug, so they're worthless.
Another problem with foreign drugs, according to the FDA, is no one knows their expiration date, or in what temperatures they were made and stored. The wrong temperature can ruin some drugs.
So, pharmacists and the FDA are calling on American pharmaceutical companies to figure out ways to restructure prices in the U.S., so fewer patients will be tempted to find a bargain in foreign drugs.
By the way, drugs that are truly made in Canada do meet most FDA quality standards. It's just hard to know what is truly made in Canada.
You can read more about the FDA warning by (clicking here).