I was reading a story recently about a woman whose husband died from over-dosing on medications he had purchased (somewhat surreptitiously) from an on-line pharmacy.
I think we all suffer through the plague of mass emails for everything from pills to cure erectile dysfunction to pills that take away your pain. I get so many E.D. emails that I almost felt like checking my parts to make sure I am actually female...do these companies know something about me I don't?
No, all they care about is an email address and the easy lure of money.
I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of us know that these pharmacies are either scams selling nothing more than sugar pills or worse - they are sending out the real thing, with no idea who they are sending it to and what their medical history is.
For the purpose of writing this piece, I did my own investigation (similar to the CNN's research in the link below) and not only did I immediately find a plethora of 'pharmacies', I simply clicked on whatever area I was interested in (I chose Anti Depressants) and I chose 100 Valium tablets at 10 mg each for a total of $199.00. Then I was given a complimentary discount coupon of $11.40. A $25 shipping charge was added and I was off and running.
They told me one of their doctors will review my 'information' and my medications would be sent out in the mail. I could have picked anything I wanted from their "Catalog". Pain medications, Prozac...it was one big on-line candy store. If I had the money, they had the pill.
Part of me is stunned, part of me is not.
These companies have no idea what medications I may be on already (the form did not ask me) and since drug interaction information is vital, it's no wonder some of the buyers of these medications are dead soon after they arrive in a brown paper box. These pills could be contaminated or cause a severe reaction. And that being the case, to whom would my family call upon my hospitalization?
Buying medications on line is frighteningly easy.
While it is terrible that so many get hurt by using these pharmacies, I also find myself critical of us - the buyer. Companies like this can only sell to people prepared to fork out the cash. This is drug pushing and buying this makes a person a drug user. It's a risky business. We cannot be surprised when someone dies or becomes seriously ill from a bad interaction.
And one more thing - my online pharmacy of choice is also offering me the opportunity of becoming an online pharmacy myself. An affiliate, no less, even offering professional looking website templates of my choosing and showing me the commissions I can make.
This investigation was one big wake up call on an otherwise ordinary Friday afternoon...
For more on the CNN report, click here http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/05/21/online.drugs/index.html
'Buyer beware' has never rung so true.
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