FDA Warns of Fake Drug Adderall Sold Online: The Dangers of Buying Drugs Online – Cheaper Cost but Bigger Price Down the Road?


FDA Warns of Fake Drug Adderall Sold Online: The Dangers of Buying Drugs Online – Cheaper Cost but Bigger Price Down the Road?

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a big warning to the American consumer about a fake version of the drug Adderall being sold online.  Adderall is used to treat both narcolepsy and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Drug Shortages: Lack of Supply of Adderall Leading People to Search Online for the Drug

News media across the country have picked up on the story, getting the word out to lots of people who may be trying to find a source for this medication online because they can’t get it right now at their local pharmacy. Apparently, Adderall is one of several popular medications that is in short supply now; for a full list, check out the FDA Drug Shortage Web Page.

NOTE:  It’s only a version of one manufacturer’s product — the Teva Pharmaceutical brand of 30 mg Adderall tablets — that is being counterfeited.

Dangers of Buying Drugs Over the Web: Counterfeit Drugs Sold online

Today’s warning deals with a popular drug that people are trying to locate online because they cannot locate it in their neighborhood drug stores.  That’s a serious situation forcing people to shop for drugs online.  Another one is cost.  Lots of drugs are simply cheaper to buy online, through international web sites where the drugs are cheaper in the marketplace than here in the United States.

However, when someone buys a drug online from a web site they need to be aware that they may not be getting the real thing, like this Adderall warning, and they may not have any remedy if they or a loved one is hurt by the drug they bought off a web site.   If a mother buys a drug at her local drug store and her baby is hurt by it, then that mother has a legal remedy against the drug maker as well as potentially against that drug store, etc.  under state personal injury product liability laws.

If that same mother chooses to buy the drug over the web, then she may not have any legal recourse.  The site may disappear, she may not be able to locate those who took her money, and investigators may never be able to find the makers of the fake drug — or they may be legally shielded in some foreign jurisdiction if they are located.  It’s a risky business, to buy drugs online.  (And this is true for both humans and pets.)

Here’s the full FDA Press Release:

For Immediate Release: May 29, 2012
Media Inquiries: Shelly Burgess, 301-796-4651, shelly.burgess@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA warns consumers about counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall
Tablets purchased on the Internet contain wrong active ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers and health care professionals about a counterfeit version of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Adderall 30 milligram tablets that is being purchased on the Internet. Adderall, which is approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy, is a prescription drug classified as a controlled substance – a class of drugs for which special controls are required for dispensing by pharmacists.

FDA’s preliminary laboratory tests revealed that the counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets contained the wrong active ingredients. Adderall contains four active ingredients – dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Instead of these active ingredients, the counterfeit product contained tramadol and acetaminophen, which are ingredients in medicines used to treat acute pain.

Currently on the FDA’s drug shortage list, Adderall is in short supply due to active pharmaceutical ingredient supply issues. Teva continues to release product as it becomes available. Consumers should be extra cautious when buying their medicines from online sources. Rogue websites and distributors may especially target medicines in short supply for counterfeiting.

The counterfeit Adderall tablets are round, white and do not have any type of markings, such as letters or numbers. Any product that resembles the tablets or the packaging in the photos below and claims to be Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets should be considered counterfeit. The counterfeit versions of Adderall should be considered as unsafe, ineffective and potentially harmful.

Authentic Adderall 30 mg tablets produced by Teva are round, orange/peach, and scored tablets with “dp” embossed on one side and “30” on the other side of the tablet. Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets are packaged only in a 100-count bottle with the National Drug Code (NDC) 0555-0768-02 listed.

he Adderall 30 mg product may be counterfeit if:1. The product comes in a blister package.

2. There are misspellings on the package.

  • “NDS” instead of “NDC”
  • “Aspartrte” instead of “Aspartate”
  • “Singel” instead of “Single”

3. The tablets are white in color, round in shape, and are smooth.

4. The tablets have no markings on them.

Pictures of authentic Adderall 30 mg tablets (immediate release) by Teva (front and back side of tablet)

Pictures of authentic Adderall 30 mg tablets produced by Teva are round, orange/peach, and scored tablets with “dp” embossed on one side and “30” on the other side of the tablet.

Anyone who believes they have the counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets should not take or should stop taking the product. Consumers should talk to their health care professional about their condition and options for treatment.

Consumers and health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects from the suspect counterfeit Adderall to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm.
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.

Consumers who believe they have received counterfeit Adderall should contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) at 800-551-3989 or http://www.fda.gov/OCI.

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