lisa fournace winn, dnp, aprn

lisa fournace winn, dnp, aprn

Don’t Pop That Pill!!

Inflation is on the rise, increasing prices on everything from food to drugs. With life-saving devices like Epi-pens at over $600, no wonder people go looking for a less expensive alternative. But sometimes, that alternative isn’t worth the risk. The counterfeit drug and supplement business is so alarming, the FDA is stepping in to warn consumers about the potential dangers of ‘cheaper’ medicine and to protect yourself by only buying from state licensed pharmacies. Here’s what you need to know.

Shopping online from the comfort of your home may have been one of the best advancements in technology. But research has shown that many items you find online are FAKE. Platforms that allow consumers to purchase from third-party retailers only aid in the confusion. Due to the relaxed laws surrounding who can be held accountable, third-party retailers have faked their way to the top of the counterfeiting business. So before you buy from that popular retailer with tempting 2-day shipping, do your research. 

The dangers of fake supplements and drugs are that they often contain illegal or banned substances such as chemicals, steroids, or other harmful ingredients. These fake supplements can be similar in color, size, shape, and texture, however, they can cause serious, if not permanent damage to your body. Ordering from 3rd party websites puts you at an increased risk of purchasing products that don’t contain what the label says. 

The scary reality is that this can happen to anyone, including my mom. She found what she thought was a great deal with 2-day shipping for a supplement she was taking. She placed her order and it was delivered directly to her door. To her surprise, the pill she was sent was not only the wrong size, it looked entirely different. For comparison, look at the picture below. As I mentioned before, supplements and drugs purchased from 3rd parties are not strictly regulated by the FDA. 

The pill on the right is the correct pill and the pill on the left is the fake. They are similar enough to deceive someone not paying close enough attention. But one additional or alternative ingredient can turn your once safe supplement into a dangerous fake.

Don’t let this happen to you. Decrease your risk by doing the following:

  • Check out This site provides information on over 24,000 prescription drugs and other medicines. You can search what your pill is supposed to look like, drug interactions, side effects, and more.
  • If you must purchase from a 3rd party, look for certification from outside testing agencies ConsumerLabUSP verified, or NSF certified.
  • Talk to your doctor or local pharmacist! Your doctor has access to legitimate resources to help you find safe, cost effective medicines. 
  • When buying supplements, please go directly to the brand manufacturer or go to a supplement dispensary such as Fullscript, Wellevate or Wholescripts

For a discount on your supplements, please use my affiliate links below:




Always verify your medicines or supplements with a trusted professional. The lack of FDA regulation can make purchasing vitamins, supplements, or medications a scary world. Use these guidelines to stay safe. And remember, your functional medicine practitioner is here to help!

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