MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Health authorities this week warned the public against buying fake vaccines online, after noting at least five such product were being offered via a Philippine buy-and-sell website.

In Advisory 2014-004, the Food and Drug Administration said that as early as Dec. 16 last year, the vaccines were being advertised or sold on sulit.com.ph.

FDA head Kenneth Hartigan-Go said this was despite the cooperation from the site’s owner, who took down 166 medicines – mostly prescription vaccines and biological products for human and pet animals – last November.

“All consumers are hereby warned against buying their medicines (through) the Internet. Buying prescription and over-the-counter drugs from the buy-and-sell website like sulit.com.ph is risky. The advertisers may be bogus,” he said.

He added that while the links to the sites may look professional and legitimate, “it could actually be an illegal operation or a scam.”

So far, Hartigan-Go said they found at least five vaccines still being sold online through sulit.com.ph, including:

Meningo Vaccine Home Service Vaccination

5 in 1 vaccine SM Fairview area, free delivery

Cervical cancer vaccines (Healthway Clinics), 3 doses

Immunization Cervical Cancer + Pneumoccal vaccine

Immunization – Pneumoccal vaccine (Christmas promo)

 In the meantime, he urged consumers to be wary, saying signs of fraud and scams may include:

Advertisers offer to sell prescription drugs even without a prescription

Advertisers do not provide a reliable telephone number for customers

Advertisers offer prices that are lower than the prevailing price in the market

Advertisers post prescription products that require special handling or storage

On the other hand, Hartigan-Go said the FDA is still processing the lone application for a license to operate an online pharmacy.

In the meantime, he urged consumers to report adverse drug reactions to report@fda.gov.ph. (MNS)