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FAQ 7: What are rogue online pharmacies?

What are rogue online pharmacies?


A rogue online pharmacy is a website that intentionally sells fake, counterfeit, adulterated, unlicensed or even genuine and regulated medication but without requiring a prescription. A prescription medication can be dangerous — potentially deadly — if taken without proper guidance and information. That's why safe online pharmacies require a real prescription. Some rogue pharmacy sites offer inadequate online medical consultations, sometimes for a fee, towards the issuance of a prescription that is allegedly written by a real doctor. These potentially bogus practices should not be confused with safe medical "remote consultation" websites that ethically practice telemedicine. For more on rogue online pharmacies, click here.


Online pharmacies based outside the U.S. are not "rogue" by definition. Licensed and legitimate pharmacies in Canada and other countries sell safe and effective medications internationally, including to consumers in the U.S. Some regulatory bodies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), refer to such pharmacies as "illegal" or "fake" but such distinctions can mislead consumers and impede their access to affordable, safe and effective medication that they cannot obtain locally because of cost. Pharmacies in some countries are equally as safe if not safer than those in the U.S. Other licensed pharmacies are subject to less stringent regulatory enforcement in their home countries but practice very high safety standards and are inspected by To learn more about different pharmaceutical standards, click here .

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