Beware of counterfeit medicines, warns an AARP investigation by Joe Eaton in the May 2016 AARP Bulletin.
“The drug supply in the United States is among the safest and most controlled in the world” he notes, but “it’s under growing threat from organized and white collar criminals pushing stolen, out of date, adulterated and fake medicine.”
In one high profile case the FDA was trying to warn medical practices about a counterfeit version of the anticancer drug Avastin that “had no active ingredient.”
The trouble is that medicines in the US are such an outrageous price that people look for the cheapest option, like shopping on line.
The AARP article warns “the Government Accountability Office estimated there are 36,000 ‘rogue’ internet pharmacies selling drugs that contain too much, too little or no active ingredient.”
The Obama administration has introduced legislation that will tighten the distribution system by providing a traceable serial number to drug packaging and a public database of wholesalers where sources of medicines can be checked.
This is a real “emancipated patient” issue where, with the right information you can safely buy reliable medicines on line. In the chapter I include in the book on, Getting The Right Price, I give advice about how to find cheap reliable sources of medicines.
This article reiterates some of that advice - if you are buying medicines on line, the advice is always choose a website with VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site) logo, and don’t do business with companies selling prescription drugs without a prescription.