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Unregistered, illegal health products sold online, delivered to Costa Rica

May 20, 2015

The large number of online sources of illegal and counterfeit medicine with Costa Rica delivery has local health officials concerned.

Public Health Ministry officials reported that they have found a total of 69 websites, including social media profiles and online pharmacies, that offer to deliver medication and other health products that don’t comply with Costa Rica’s sanitary regulations.

Health officials last year seized 5,920 units of these products illegally brought into the country.

Health Vice Minister María Anchía Angulo said Tuesday that officials have noticed “a continuous entry of a considerable amount of illegal and unregistered medicines, dietary supplements and natural medicines through the country’s customs and parcel delivery services.”

Anchía said officials had detected an increase in deliveries of such products purchased through the Internet and that most of them are illegal or counterfeited.

Public Health Ministry officials and international experts are discussing the problem this week in a training seminar. Specialists of the Swedish National Police and the Organization of American States are in charge of the four-day training.

“We have found weaknesses in the system and in agencies responsible for handling complaints related to online commerce,” the Vice Minister said.

Ministry officials are asking citizens to avoid buying medications online without first consulting a professional.

To confirm the origin of a drug or to report the sale of unauthorized medicine, send an email to: denuncias@ministeriodesalud.go.cr

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