Be Informed: Know the Potential Risks of Buying Health Products Online


OTTAWA, ON, June 8, 2021 / CNW / –


  • Product: Health products not authorized for sale in Canada.
  • Problem: The dangers of buying unauthorized health products sold online.
  • What to do: If you choose to buy health products online, make sure you buy them from a reputable website and that they are licensed for sale by Health Canada.


Many websites that sell health products are legal businesses, but some sell health products that pose serious health risks. Within the framework of Operation Pangea XIV—An international effort to disrupt the online sale of counterfeit and illegal health products around the world — Health Canada is reminding Canadians of the dangers of purchasing unauthorized health products online.

Some drugs and natural health products sold online may appear legitimate and safe, but may not be authorized for sale in Canada. Products may be expired, mislabelled, subject to recalls, counterfeit versions of licensed products, or they may contain no active ingredients, the wrong ingredients, or dangerous additives such as prescription drugs not listed on the label. ‘label. Consumers should also be careful when purchasing unlicensed medical devices over the internet, as some may be of poor quality, not work, or be unsafe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of illegal sales of substandard and counterfeit health products around the world. Due to unprecedented demand and the urgent need for health products and personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as respirators, gloves and face shields) to help limit the spread of COVID-19, more and more consumers could turn to online retailers for access. products, making them vulnerable to purchasing poor quality, ineffective and even unsafe products.

As part of this international effort, Health Canada is working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to prevent counterfeit and illegal health products from reaching the Canadian market and to help to educate consumers.

During the action week of Operation Pangea XIV, which took place May 18 to 25, 2021, Health Canada inspected 2,076 packages, refused entry of 867 packages into the country and seized 228 packages at the border containing suspected counterfeit or unauthorized health products. The majority of the products seized (238 out of 244, or 97.5%) were sexual enhancement products (mainly erectile dysfunction drugs). The other products included antibiotics, pain relievers, and bodybuilding supplements. While Health Canada has not seized any COVID-19-related products during this week of action, the Department remains alert to the increased risk, takes action when illegal COVID-19-related products are identified, and continues to remind Canadians to be vigilant.

Health Canada works throughout the year to detect and prevent the entry of unauthorized health products into the country, including working in partnership with the CBSA to help prevent further imports of these products.

What you should do

If you are considering purchasing health products online, read the information published by Health Canada on the risks of purchasing medications, natural health products Where Medical equipement On the Internet.

If you decide to buy health products on the Internet, it is important to know the risks and protect yourself:

Related links

COVID-19 Health Product Advisories

Also available in French

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Media inquiries: Health Canada, (613) 957-2983, [email protected]; Public inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709, [email protected]


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