24 Nov 2009

Fake internet herbal drugs claim to be from NZ

9:10 am on 24 November 2009

Medicines safety authority Medsafe is warning New Zealanders not to buy herbal products from 65 websites it says are fraudulent and are preying on the vulnerable.

The websites are run from Pakistan and use the name Gordon's Herbal Research, but claim to be based in New Zealand.

Medsafe compliance manager Derek Fitzgerald says the websites appear to be a money-making scam as they fraudulently claim their products have undergone clinical trials authorised by a New Zealand health authority.

The sites also claim their products are able to successfully treat conditions for which only symptomatic relief is available, he says.

Mr Fitzgerald warns consumers should not purchase any medicines from overseas websites, as the quality cannot be guaranteed.

Consumer New Zealand agrees, and says before purchasing, online buyers should know who the retailer is and be able to contact them easily.