Online Pharmacy Fallacies

Back in the day, everyone went to the Doctor, got a diagnosis, got a prescription and got it filled at a pharmacy. Not so much anymore. Today people thinks they’re Dr. Oz and are shopping for their drugs on the internet. Why? To save money!

Here’s the scoop. We are spending more than $200 billion on prescription drugs annually, and prescription drugs are expensive. Prescription drugs are expensive in America. We have the largest pharmaceutical market in the world, and the highest prices (prescription drugs are 35-55% cheaper in other highly developed countries). Now, you ask, what’s the solution?

Well, some Americans have come up with solutions on their own. 1) Some simply don’t fill their prescriptions, or 2) they shop online pharmacies for discounted prices. Neither solution is ideal. #1, the reason is obvious, and #2…let me give you some statistics from the National Association Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) recent public health alert on online pharmacies.

The Dangers of Buying Drugs Online

In the report 8000 Web sites were reviewed, of those:

  • More than 85% did not require a valid prescription.
  • 46% offer non-FDA approved drugs.
  • 96% were not in compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards of the USA.
  • Only 3% were approved as legitimate by review of their website.

All of these are very relevant points and shouldn’t be dismissed. What I find alarming is anyone who watches TV or reads a magazine can self-diagnose their symptoms from the pharmaceutical ads and simply order the drugs online. What’s that saying –‘a little knowledge can be dangerous’?  But, what are you getting when you order prescriptions online? Consider the woman from British Columbia who ordered prescriptions online and was found dead in her bed with high doses of aluminum and other metals in her liver. Investigators found she had ordered a variety of prescriptions online, all of which were counterfeit, poorly manufactured and contained ‘fillers’. Had she been under a physician’s care the drugs side effects alone would have raised questions.

I understand the lure of an ‘online discount’, however, the internet pharmacy business is ripe for people of questionable integrity. As a result, many online pharmacies are dispensing counterfeit or adulterated prescriptions to people whom depend on their medications for their health. The questionable reliability of the medicine dispensed, and the lack of a doctor’s supervision are why I would suggest at a minimum run from any online pharmacy that is happy to place your order without a doctor’s prescription.

I am all for doing things yourself, but my advice would be to start with a bathroom remodel, not your health.


Next Blog…Part 2 – Prescription prices and drug policy

Thanks for reading!

Healthcare Advocate

Rebecca Busch


adminOnline Pharmacy Fallacies

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