Use Caution When Purchasing Prescription Drugs Online - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/20/05

Use Caution When Purchasing Prescription Drugs Online

The high cost of prescription drugs has sent millions of Americans to the Internet looking for cheaper buys from other countries.

Yes, you can save money, but sometimes the drugs are purely counterfeit and may either work poorly or not at all. That's why some of the nation's top experts gathered in Washington Tuesday to warn patients that cheaper drugs from outside the U.S. could be a costly mistake.

There is even a concern that some drugs shipped from safe nations, like Canada, may actually be made in third world countries with little, if any, regulation.

"Unless you drive into Canada and physically go into a pharmacy, you're not gonna get the same drugs Canadians get," said Peter Pitts, Center for Medicines in the Public Interest.

"Americans have decided against cost controls, and so therefore we have market prices. That is not our issue. Our issue is to try to keep counterfeit drugs off the market," said Lester Crawford, FDA Commissioner.

Crawford says occasionally, government officials are even finding fake drugs that have slipped into legitimate U.S. pharmacies. So...this advice from the FDA...if you take medication regularly, take a close look at every refill. And if it looks different or smells different...or if you react differently after taking it, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist, because it could be a fake.

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