Patient Resources

It doesn’t matter whether you live in United States, Europe, Asia, or Africa—everyone is at risk from unsafe drugs. Counterfeit drugs defraud consumers and deny patients therapies that can alleviate suffering and save lives. In some cases, these drugs have caused great harm and fatalities.

Take a moment to learn how you can minimize your risk of getting a counterfeit medicine.

What's the danger of fake online pharmacies?

Foreign pharmacies have exploited and endangered Americans for decades by selling them fake and substandard drugs, and by compromising websites.

It may be easy to find an online pharmacy, but as Dr. Kenneth McCall explains, most of them aren't safe to buy from.

How do I find out if an online pharmacy is safe?

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) can assist you with their Accredited Digital Pharmacy program. You can also check any online pharmacy using Legitscript’s website verification tool.

Dr. Kenneth McCall tells you how simple it is to find out if your online pharmacy is safe.

What does it mean that the pharmacy is listed as rogue in LegitScript?

Legitscript has determined that this not a pharmacy with a state board of pharmacy license in your state, and is therefore not safe to order from.

What is a 'rogue' online pharmacy? Dr. Kenneth McCall describes how Legitscript works.

Is it safe to get medicine from Mexican pharmacies?

Mexican border towns often contain pharmacies targeted to Americans. But are those medicines from the U.S. safe? No. Fake blood thinners with no active ingredient  and counterfeit medicines made of fentanyl and other illicit drugs were recently discovered in several Mexican pharmacies.


In 2022, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute warned that Mexican pharmacies were selling counterfeit blood thinners and even more fake medicines have been found in Mexican pharmacies that serve tourists.

Safe ways to save money on prescription drugs

Safe SavingsIf you can’t safely buy drugs from foreign online pharmacies, how can you safely save money on your prescriptions? This page offers advice.

Safe Savings Tips: PSM is always looking for ways to you to save money safely.  Follow our Safe Savings Tips feed to learn more.

Prescription Assistance

NeedyMeds: NeedyMeds is a nonprofit organization helps patients find prescription assistance programs. If you need help paying for your prescriptions, start here.

RxOutreach: a non-profit pharmacy working to make medications affordable for people whose income is at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Medicine Assistance Tool: MAT helps uninsured and financially struggling patients get access to nearly 500 healthcare and prescription assistance programs that offer medicines for free or nearly free.

Real Dangers of Fake Drugs

  • Talking To Your Family About Counterfeit Meds: Our family advocates wish they could have warned lost ones about the risks of counterfeit pills. Talk to your family now before they make a choice with deadly consequences.
  • Fentanyl 101: Counterfeit pills containing fentanyl are killing Americans across the entire country. Learn about fentanyl and these counterfeit.
  • Silicone Injections Kill: FDA-approved dermal fillers are not made of silicone, and they're only approved for use on your face by a license professional. Unlicensed injections have caused disfigurement, blocked blood vessels and stroke, and deaths in 13 states.
  • Spot the Fake:  Counterfeiters are selling chalk (or worse) as if they were real drugs are very good. How good? So good that not even the experts can always tell the genuine drugs from the fake ones. See some examples of what actual counterfeit drugs look like.
  • Stay Up To Date: Consult our news archive and sign up for our newsletter to stay current on drug safety in the U.S. and overseas.

How to Buy Medications Online Safely

  • Tips for Safe Online Buying: Learn why simply searching for "lipitor online" is likely to get you a dangerous counterfeit.
  • Warning SignsJust because a Web site looks good, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. This checklist of warning signs can help you spot a rogue online drug seller.
  • VIPPS and .pharmacy: Learn why .pharmacy and VIPPS-certified online pharmacies are the safest way to buy medicine online.