26 May, 2014
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the warning issued today on the dangers of
purchasing prescription medicines illegally online.
The warning issued jointly by the Customs and Border Protection Service and the Therapeutic
Goods Administration said substances purchased online from unregulated sources could range
from ineffective to harmful. Customs has reported intercepting 51 packages containing
unauthorised medicine in Sydney and Melbourne mail centres over seven days this month.
The President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Mr George Tambassis, said this was a timely
reminder of the dangers associated with dealing with internet-based entities when purchasing
Mr Tambassis said: “The internet pharmacy environment can be tricky to navigate, with significant
numbers of unscrupulous and illegal operators in the mix with bona fide pharmacies, operated by
ethical professionals registered with their jurisdiction.”
The warning comes as one of the medicines most widely associated with counterfeit materials and
illegal operations, Viagra , has come off-patent in the Australian market, and faces competition
from generic manufacturers who have registered their own brands with Australia’s medicines
watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Mr Tambassis urged consumers to deal with a pharmacy and pharmacist where they could identify
a physical address in Australia, and where they can be assured the pharmacist is registered and
accountable to their registration board.
“People dealing with their community pharmacy in the main streets, medical centres and shopping
centres of Australia can be confident that their safety is paramount to the pharmacists in these
locations. They can be confident that any generic alternatives offered in those locations are
appropriately licensed in Australia, and meet the standards of purity and consistency of dosage
required to be licensed,” he said.
“If you can’t be sure of who is operating the internet pharmacy, you can’t be sure you will get
medicines that are what they say they are, and you may find it very difficult to get recourse if you
suffer harm from whatever they put in the tablets they sell. You just can’t be sure, and it’s not
worth the risk to deal with someone you can’t identify.”
Viagra and its generic alternatives contain sildenafil, and are only available with a doctor’s
Media inquiries: Greg Turnbull 0412 910261