Swissmedic warns of the danger of buying vaccines or other medicines online


Against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, demand for medicinal products, and especially coronavirus vaccines, is on the rise. The fact that people are fearful of certain medicines being in short supply while some may be in urgent need of vaccination is attracting the attention of fraudsters. Fake coronavirus vaccines are already being offered on the internet. Swissmedic's warning: do not order any medicines or vaccines through the internet, as these may endanger your health.

Crimes involving illegal medicines and vaccines, and especially COVID-19 vaccines, pose a serious threat to the health and lives of the population. Criminal individuals and organisations are exploiting people’s fears by offering medicines and vaccines on the internet. They are posing as doctors or online pharmacies with the aim of making a lot of money as fast as they can. Very often, the products they are offering are fakes that either contain no active ingredients at all or else contain dangerous substances that can endanger people’s health. In many cases, advance payments are made and nothing is ever delivered.

As a rule, vaccines are solutions that have to be injected with a syringe after being prepared by a medical professional. Moreover, they must be stored and transported in an unbroken cold chain at temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius. Clearly, therefore, products like that cannot be sold online and be expected to arrive in perfect condition.

You will be provided with COVID-19 vaccines free of charge, and there will be enough vaccine for everyone willing to be vaccinated.

If you purchase medicines or vaccines from an unregulated source you are putting your health at risk.

Depending on their symptoms, anyone needing a medicinal product should ask their doctor or a pharmacy or drugstore. Anyone wishing to be vaccinated should consult their doctor and be vaccinated at an official vaccination point. If you wish to be vaccinated against COVID-19, please contact your cantonal authority. You will find the relevant contact details (phone numbers and web addresses) on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health, FOPH

Reporting suspected trafficking in medicinal products
Anyone who manufactures, distributes or dispenses human or veterinary medicinal products has a legal obligation to report suspected trafficking to Swissmedic. An information sheet and special form have been created for the reporting procedure. These provide practical advice and assist with reporting tip-offs.