Buying prescription medications from online pharmacies may seem cheap and easy. But cheap and easy shouldn’t be your top priority when it comes to your health. While there are plenty of legitimate U.S. Internet pharmacies that follow the law and put public safety first, there are many more that don’t.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on illegal Internet pharmacies and notes that the FDA says “legitimate online pharmacies are located in the US, licensed by the state in which they operate, and require a written prescription from a doctor.”
FDA spokesman Christopher Kelly said the “problem with getting medications outside the control of the FDA is that you don’t know what you’re getting,” and the drugs may be “counterfeit, mislabeled, adulterated or contaminated.”
Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, said, “We have found that 92 percent of Web-site pharmacies are illegal or in violation of FDA regulations.”
Kelly adds, “Unless the pharmacy is part of the closed US supply chain, consumers are engaging in risky behavior and cannot be certain about what they are purchasing.”
“We have found that 92 percent of Web-site pharmacies are illegal or in violation of FDA regulations,” says Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), which includes the California State Board of Pharmacy in Sacramento.
According to the report in the Union Tribune, some Internet pharmacies, along with services that offer verification and price comparisons of online pharmacies (such as Pharmacy Checker),tell consumers that it’s permissible to buy prescription medications from countries outside the United States as long as it’s not a controlled substance and no more than a three-month supply.
Whoa. Not so fast, says the FDA.
“Unless the pharmacy is part of the closed U.S. supply chain, consumers are engaging in risky behavior and cannot be certain about what they are purchasing,” Kelly says.
According to the Union Tribune, here’s how you can keep your internet drug shopping both legal and safe, here’s what to look for: