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Purchasing Medications Over the Internet

Author: Dr. Ran Goldman, Chief Medical Officer, MedSchoolForParents.com
The Internet is so helpful, yet could become so dangerous
Counterfeiting medications became a very active industry in many countries, and the counterfeit medications are sold in much cheaper prices than the “real thing”. Not only medications, but also surgical products like a surgical mesh or fake blood glucose testing strips can be found on the web.
The risks of these products are that they may not contain the real active component of the medication, can be contaminated, may not contain the correct dose of the product, and even worse, it may contain other products that can cause significant harm.
As parents we can not find out what those medications consist of and as long as they look the same as the original medicine, we may be tempted to pay lower prices and give them to our children.
In January 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted consumers that some counterfeit versions of Orlistat, the only medication approved for treating severe obesity in children, were sold on the web.
Well, the medication actually had no active medication
at all. It had very high concentration of another weight loss drug, that is not approved for use in children.
The rule of thumb for parents is to use the “street corner” test. Whatever you will not buy in a street corner or a doggy vendor on the street, don’t buy on the web, especially when it comes to medications !
Golden Tips from Dr. Goldman on how to ensure safe purchase of medications for children :
  1. Make an effort to purchase it physically in a licensed pharmacy or store.
  2. Make sure to purchase only in your own state or country.
  3. Ensure there is a licensed pharmacist that can answer your questions.
  4. If you order on-line do it only from a site that offers an address and a phone number – at a minimum call and speak with them before ordering.
  5. If this is a prescribed medication, don’t buy it if you are not asked to send the prescription over to them.
  6. Don’t buy if it is “too” cheap. Something is wrong if the deal is so great !
Updated: 03/08/2017


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