November 28, 2023

OTTAWA, ON , July 20, 2022 /CNW/ – 


  • Product: Unauthorized health products, including drugs, natural health products and medical devices, sold online.
  • Issue: 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 this is for: General public

Affected products

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


As part of Operation Pangea XV—an international effort to disrupt the online sale of counterfeit and other illegal health products around the world—Health Canada is reminding consumers to be careful when buying health products over the Internet. Health products – including drugs, natural health products and medical devices – sold online may seem legitimate and safe, but some may not actually be authorized for sale in Canada and be dangerous to your health. It is important to know how to spot risky websites and products if you are buying health products online.

Unauthorized health products have not been assessed by Health Canada for safety, efficacy and quality and as a result can pose serious risks to your health. For example, they may be expired, mislabeled, subject to recalls, or counterfeit versions of authorized products. Unauthorized drugs or natural health products may have no active ingredients, the wrong ingredients, or dangerous additives such as prescription drugs not listed on the label. Unlicensed medical devices might be low quality, may not work, or may be unsafe.

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 products seized (99%) were sexual enhancement products (primarily erectile dysfunction medications). 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 stop counterfeit and other illegal health products from reaching the Canadian market and to help raise consumer awareness. Health Canada works throughout the year to detect and stop unauthorized health products from entering the country, including working in partnership with CBSA to help prevent further importation of these products.

What you should do

If you are planning to buy health products online, read the information Health Canada has posted on the risks of buying drugsnatural health products or medical devices over the Internet.

Additional information

Related links 
INTERPOL news release 
Counterfeit prescription drugs 
Buying drugs over the Internet
Choosing a safe online pharmacy
How to spot an unsafe online store
Safe use of body building products
Adulteration of natural health products
Buying safe sexual enhancement products
The safe use of health products for weight loss

Alert / recall type: Public Advisory
Category: Health products – Drugs, Natural Health Products, Medical Device 
Published by: Health Canada

Également disponible en français

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Health Canada: 613-957-2983, [email protected]; Public Enquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709


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