The online market has been into numerous fraud reports. Some products sold online were not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Men are warned to avoid purchasing Viagra, a popular drug for erectile dysfunction and normally needs prescription, because online pharmaceutical companies were found to be selling counterfeit products.
The findings were gathered from an analysis of pills from a total of 22 different websites. Among the sellers, 77% of the samples were fake and contained only 30% to 50% of the active ingredient the real Viagra contain, reports News.com.au.
In the study led by Dr. Irwin Goldstein of San Diego Sexual Medicine, some of the fake medicines might contain harmful ingredients and self-medication can be very dangerous. Aside from these drugs containing little amount of the active ingredient of Viagra, most of them contain undeclared chemicals that may harm the health.
According to the study, some of the medicines contained gypsum. Gypsum is a soft mineral consisting of hydrated calcium sulfate and commonly used to make plaster of Paris and fertilizers. According to the World Health Organization as reported by Fox 13, around 50% of illegal online pharmacies are selling fake drugs.
Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand president Dr. Stephen Ruthven said, "Many people simply assume they are buying the real product, when in fact most online purchases from international sites are illegal counterfeits."
These products target men who are embarrassed in discussing their condition with health care practitioners so they opt to buy medicines online. However, it is important for doctors to properly diagnose the condition in order to prescribe proper medicines. Subsequently, these are prescription drugs that need the approval of a doctor after conducting health clearance for the patient. Medical consultation is needed to ensure that there are no health risks like metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.