Patients are the last line of defense

Protect yourself from counterfeit medicine

While it’s extremely rare, counterfeits still exist in the U.S. drug supply chain. As a patient, you’re the last line of defense from counterfeits. Here's how to protect yourself from counterfeit medication:

  • Refill medication before running out of the previous prescription and then compare the bottles.
    Do they look the same? Is the dosage the same? Does the packaging match?
  • Look at the pills. Are they the same color and size? Do they have the same markings?
  • If there are differences, reach out to the pharmacist or the manufacturer.

Once you've begun taking them, pay attention:

  • Do they taste or feel different? Does your doctor say you're not responding to treatment as you normally would? Discuss with your doctor whether it’s possible the medicine might be counterfeit, and work with your pharmacist and the original manufacturer.
  • Most importantly, don’t order medicine from foreign pharmacies online. That will just guarantee a high risk of counterfeits.

In this ninety second video, twenty year HIV survivor Brandon Macsata talks about the specific steps you can take to protect yourself from counterfeit medicines.

Learn more about counterfeit medicines that affect HIV and Hepatitis C patients