Public notice – Buy health products online? Know the risks.

OTTAWAON , July 20, 2022 /CNW/ –


  • Product: Unauthorized health products, including drugs, natural health products and medical devices, sold online.

  • Publish: Health products – Unauthorized product

  • What to do: If you buy health products online, buy them from a reputable website and check that they are authorized for sale by Health Canada. Report suspected illegal health products to Health Canada.

  • Who it is for: General public

Affected Products

Drugs, natural health products and medical devices that have not been authorized by Health Canada and that may pose serious health risks.


As part of Operation Pangea XV, an international effort to disrupt the online sale of counterfeit and illegal health products around the world, Health Canada is reminding consumers to be cautious when purchasing health products on Internet. Health products – including drugs, natural health products and medical devices – sold online may appear legitimate and safe, but some may in fact not be authorized for sale in Canada and be dangerous to your health. Knowing how to spot risky websites and products is important if you buy health products online.

Unauthorized health products have not been evaluated by Health Canada for their safety, effectiveness and quality and therefore may pose serious risks to your health. For example, they may be expired, mislabeled, subject to recalls, or counterfeit versions of licensed products. Unauthorized drugs or natural health products may contain no active ingredients, the wrong ingredients, or dangerous additives such as prescription drugs that are not listed on the label. Unlicensed medical devices may be of poor quality, not working, or dangerous.

During this year’s week of action for Operation Pangea, which took place June 23 – 30, 2022, Health Canada inspected 1,666 packages, blocked 964 packages from entering the country and seized 338 packages at the border containing suspected counterfeit or unauthorized health products. The majority of the products seized (99%) were products intended to improve sexual performance (mainly drugs for erectile dysfunction). The remaining products seized (1%) were weight loss supplements and cognitive enhancement drugs.

Health Canada works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) during Operation Pangea to prevent counterfeit health products and other illegal health products from reaching the Canadian market and to help educate consumers . 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 any further importation of these products.

what you should do

If you are considering buying health products online, read the information published by Health Canada on the risks of buying drugs, natural health products or medical devices over the Internet.

Further information

Related links
INTERPOL press release
Counterfeit prescription drugs
Buy drugs on the Internet
Choose a secure online pharmacy
How to Spot an Unsecured Online Store
Safe use of bodybuilding products
Tampering with natural health products
Buy Safe Sexual Enhancement Products
The safe use of health products for weight loss

Alert/Reminder Type: Public consultation
Category: Health products – Drugs, natural health products, medical devices
Published by: Health Canada

Aussi disponible en français

SOURCE Health Canada


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