Fake medicines and medical devices bought online can lead to serious negative health consequences.

Buying from dodgy websites also increases the risk of being ripped off through credit card fraud or having your identity stolen.

The #FakeMeds campaign, run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, helps you protect your health and money by providing quick and easy tools so you can avoid fake medical products when you shop online.

 Image of EU Common logo - mandatory logo for selling medicines online

Always purchase from a registered pharmacy or reputable retail outlet. Look for this logo to confirm that the medicine comes from a reputable supplier.

More details online

Yellow Card logo

Report suspected #FakeMeds

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have a Yellow Card scheme. You can use this to report suspected #FakeMeds or side effects online.

Visit the Yellow Card website

Follow our top tips to help you stay safe when purchasing medicines or medical products online.

Dodgy websites

Beware of dodgy websites

Poor design, pop-ups spelling and grammar errors are all signs of dodgy websites.

check expiry dates

Check the expiry date

Medicines that have passed their expiry date or don’t have one won’t provide reliable results.

Unauthorised suppliers

Unauthorised suppliers

Make sure you are buying from a registered pharmacy or website.
You can check if a website can legally sell medicines online here.

Bad packaging, bad product

Bad packaging, bad product

Medicines with a homemade appearance or ones that are open or damaged should be avoided.

Suspicious URLs

Avoid Suspicious URLs

Check the URL - legitimate websites will not use product names as their domain names.

Too good to be true

Too good to be true

Claims like ‘100% safe, no side effects’ or ‘quick results’, are often warning signs. Cut prices and speedy deliveries can expose you to fake medicines, identity theft and fraud.

Fake erectile dysfunction medicines

Don’t leave your night to chance.

Fake erectile dysfunction medicines can be a real let down – you might not get the result you want, or you might feel unwell. Our top tips can help you spot a fake and stay safe when buying these medicines online.

NHS logo

Erection problems are very common, particularly in men over 40. It’s usually nothing to worry about, but you should see a GP if it keeps happening.

NHS for more information.

STI testing kits

STI self-testing kits can give unreliable or even false results and pose a risk to public health. Our top tips and resources can help you spot a fake and stay safe when buying STI self-testing kits online.
It’s important to remember that no STI self-testing kit is 100% reliable and should never replace a health professional’s advice. Before buying a self-test kit, it’s always best to talk to a health professional.

HIV testing kits

HIV testing kits

Visit the Starts With Me website for useful information on the when and how of HIV testing.

Self-testing STI kits are not aways what they seem

Avoid unexpected surprises

Follow our top tips when buying self-testing kits online and always get advice from a healthcare professional.

NHS logo

Use NHS approved online providers of free and paid for STI self-test kits.
Visit the NHS website for more details.

C E Logo -  certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area

Look for a CE mark on medical devices as an indicator that it has been approved to be on the UK market.

Find out more about the CE mark

Dr Radha supports #FakeMeds

Hear from BBC Radio 1’s Dr Radha on why our #FakeMeds campaign is so important.

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Diet pills

Diet pills side effects

Diet pills side effects

Buying dodgy diet pills can be dangerous and can cause devastating side effects.

Josh's diet pills story

Hear Josh’s story about what happened when he bought #FakeMeds online.

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