Counterfeit health products might not just
be a consumer ripoff, they can also be dangerous to your health.
While counterfeit health products may look like the ones you use every
day, they have not been reviewed by Health Canada for safety, quality
or effectiveness. They may also contain hidden ingredients not listed
on the label, dangerous additives and/or contaminated ingredients. In
addition, they may lack the active ingredients Canadians would expect
them to contain to help them maintain and improve their health. For all
of these reasons, they could cause serious health effects.
Consumers should read the label of the products they buy to verify that
the products have been assessed by Health Canada. Health products that
have been authorized for sale by Health Canada will have an eight-digit
Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Homeopathic Medicine Number
(DIN-HM) or a Natural Product Number (NPN) on the label. Some natural
health products may have an Exemption Number (EN), which indicates that
the product is legally available for sale while Health Canada is
reviewing its application for licensing.
Canadians should be especially careful when purchasing health products
online, particularly from sites that offer to provide prescription
drugs without requiring you to be seen in-person by a health care
professional. This should raise questions about the quality of the
product you are buying and whether it is potentially harmful.