One of the tablets below is genuine. The other two are counterfeit. Can you tell which is the real medicine?
The clues are subtle: the tablet at the top has a slightly longer 'f' in the company logo, while the bottom two tablets are a greyish blue and have rougher edges.
The tablet at the top is a genuine medicine. The two lower tablets are fake. They could be diluted, contaminated, or even just chalk.
As you can see from this example, it is not always easy to identify fraudulent medicines.
Purchasing your medicines from a pharmacy in Australia reduces the risk of a fake medicine. The TGA (part of the Federal Department of Health) helps protect Australians from counterfeit medicines through monitoring of reports, compliance activities and laboratory testing. However, purchasing medicines online from overseas sites can be problematic as the medicines may not be regulated by any health authority or contain what is claimed or be manufactured by the legitimate company. In addition, it can be illegal to import some medicines so always check with your state or territory health department.