NCMS Joins Initiative To Combat Fake Online Pharmacies

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has joined the North Carolina Secretary of State’s campaign to help alert doctors and their patients to the dangers of fake online pharmacies. Beware – 97 percent of online pharmacies are illegitimate and unsafe, according to the FDA.

Your patients may be looking to the internet in hopes of finding a good deal on the medicines you prescribe. But in the vast majority of case, they are looking at ‘rogue’ pharmacy sites selling questionable substitutes and outright fake medicines. Even experts have difficulty identifying a fake online pharmacy from its website alone, according to the NC Secretary of State’s office.

“This is a major problem,” North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall explains. “Prescription counterfeiters put people’s health at risk by not delivering the promised dosage of medicine or by adding who knows what to make that pill look right. They also collect personal and credit card information that opens the door to identity theft.”

The Verify Before You Buy program is a free resource from the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP). You can check the authenticity of an online pharmacy by entering its URL at Please encourage your patients to verify before they buy any medication from an online discount pharmacy at this site.

To request free patient Verify Before You Buy information cards for display in your office, please contact the NCMS at 919-833-3836 x112 or

If patients are looking for discounts on prescription medicines, consider suggesting the free North Carolina Drug Card, which is endorsed by the NCMS. With the card, patients may receive savings of up to 75 percent (discounts average roughly 30 percent) at more than 68,000 national and regional pharmacies. Learn more.


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