Table of contents:
- Medicines from the Internet
- Security through registered internet pharmacies
- Check security logo
- Health risk from counterfeit drugs
- The dangers of buying drugs illegally on the Internet
Video: Online Pharmacies - Medicines From The Internet
Medicines from the Internet
Since 2015, Austrian pharmacies have been able to ship over-the-counter medicines approved in Austria within Austria. Foreign pharmacies from the European Economic Area (EEA pharmacies) are also allowed to send non-prescription drugs across borders to Austria. However, these drugs must be approved in Austria. The sale and purchase of prescription drugs over the Internet is prohibited in Austria!
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Security through registered internet pharmacies
Legal Internet pharmacies serve to protect consumers from counterfeit drugs. A legal internet pharmacy is a pharmacy registered in the respective country that must meet strict controls and safety requirements. Legal pharmacies ensure that only tested drugs and high-quality drugs are sold. When dispensing drugs in and to Austria, pharmacies are only allowed to sell non-prescription drugs that are approved in Austria.
Check security logo
A legal pharmacy that sells drugs over the Internet has a logo with a white cross and green text on its website. A flag is also shown on the logo. This flag shows the country where the internet pharmacy is registered. If you click on the logo, you get to the authority that is responsible for registering the Internet pharmacy. In Austria it is the Federal Office for Health Safety (BASG).
Note A list of all pharmacies in Austria that are allowed to sell over-the-counter medicines over the Internet can be found on the website Versandapotheken.basg.gv.at/.
How to check whether a mail order pharmacy is a registered and legal pharmacy:
- Click on the green and white safety logo on the website of a legally operating internet pharmacy.
- This will redirect you to the list of legal internet pharmacies of the competent authority.
- Check if the pharmacy is on the list.
- Only shop if it is a legal pharmacy.
Here you can find more information about the security logo for mail order pharmacies (BASG).
Health risk from counterfeit drugs
The trade in illegal drugs on the Internet is growing. According to BASG / AGES medical market supervision, more than 95 percent of the drugs sold on the Internet today are counterfeit or do not meet pharmaceutical standards. The BASG / AGES Medical Market Authority therefore expressly warns against the illegal purchase of drugs on the Internet.
Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available on the Internet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most of the counterfeits are painkillers, sexual enhancers, vitamin and muscle building preparations. Many of these drugs offered would actually require a prescription. In the most harmless case, counterfeit drugs are ineffective, in the worst case they are harmful to health.
In order to avoid any health risk, medication should only be obtained through legal distribution channels (pharmacies). Expert advice in Austria's pharmacies can ensure that medicines are handled safely.
The dangers of buying drugs illegally on the Internet
- Inadequate or lack of expert advice to patients
- incomplete information about side effects or interactions
- Insufficient drug safety (many drugs that are not approved for medical reasons in Austria are available on the Internet)
- The quality of drugs offered on the Internet cannot be verified by the consumer
- missing or insufficient product description
- health risks when taking inadequate drugs
- Counterfeiting cannot be ruled out (what is written on it is not always inside)
- questionable storage and transport (light and temperature can influence the effect of drugs)
- no or insufficient information about the provider
- Difficulty asserting your right to compensation for damage to health or defective products
You can find further information on the topics of buying drugs on the Internet, counterfeit drugs and drug crime at:
- Safe Medicines (BMSGPK)
- auf-der-sicheren-seite.at (Chamber of Pharmacists)