Dangerous pills

Medicinal products bought online often have the wrong dosage or contain dangerous substances. 

Anyone who orders medications from foreign online vendors is putting their health at risk. Often they are counterfeits that contain little or no active ingredients. In other cases, they contain massive overdoses of active substances. Last year, the FOCBS reported 9,421 consignments of medications and 788 consignments of doping substances to the competent authorities. Erectile dysfunction treatments accounted for around 90% of the total and mostly arrived in Switzerland by post from Asia and Eastern Europe.

Illegal consignments are destroyed. If there is a suspicion that the medications are being imported for commercial purposes, criminal proceedings may be initiated. A private individual may import up to a month's supply of medications for personal use. There is zero tolerance for doping substances.

Anyone who orders medications from foreign websites is putting their health at risk.
Detections (number of consignments)
  2019 2020 2021

Medications and doping substances

9 012 7 486 11 263
of which consignments reported
to Swissmedic
7 781 6 733 9 421

Ranking of seized "medications":

  1. Erectile dysfunction treatments (77.3%)
  2. Other medications available only on prescription (17.2%)
  3. Sleeping pills and tranquilizers (5.5%)
Origin of seized medications
Eastern Europe 35 %
Asia (without India) 28 %
Western Europe 23 %
India 12 %
Other 2 %