Pharmaceutical Industry Keen on Access to Medicines

by Blinky

Posted on Tuesday 7th of April 2009


Know About Buying Medicine Online, Then Shop

As the world economy groans under the stress of banking-industry greed, many consumers dependent on expensive medications to maintain health are looking for cheaper sources.

If phoning in a prescription to your local discount pharmacy, then standing in line to pick up your medicine has little appeal, consider an online source. Online drug sales have more than tripled in recent years; they approach the hundred billion dollar mark -- little wonder, with savings of 50% or more over local drugstores. As discounts go higher, there is some risk of receiving counterfeit, fake, or out-dated pharmaceuticals.

What are the most popular buys? The site Drugs.com puts the cholesterol lowering drug, Lipitor at the top of the list. Not surprisingly, the male performance drugs Viagra and Cialis rate high as well. Plavix, and the acid-reflux fighters Prevacid and Nexium are other top sellers.

Consumers uncertain about shopping for meds online might like to know that in the U.S., many insurance companies selling Medicare’s Part D prescription plans offer a preferred online source as a cheaper alternative to your local discount pharmacy. These are traditionally licensed pharmacies in the U.S. Many other countries require licensing as well.

Although in the United States, the Federal Drug Administration doesn’t approve drugs bought out of country, some well-respected doctors know of reputable online sources and will pass that information along if asked. One woman saved almost half on her Plavix each month through a Canadian site. She also ordered blood pressure and allergy meds and took them for years without ill effect. Many others tell similar stories, but you should remember that cases vary, as do individual reactions to drugs sold locally.
Online stores offering pharmaceuticals for sale number in the thousands. One whose keywords are heavy on mood altering or other highly regulated medications might be a signal to browse further; likewise for drugs that require close physician supervision.

The most cautious consumers seek online stores that require a doctor’s prescription and/or online physician consultation. Drugs to absolutely avoid buying on the internet are listed on the website fda.gov/buyonline. They are Accutane, Actiq, Clorzaril, Humatrope, Lotronex, Mifiprex, Plinaxes, Thalomid, Tikosyn, Tracleer, Trovan and Xyrem. Reasons to avoid are listed.

Shopping for medicine on the internet takes some planning ahead. Check supplies on hand, and the site’s delivery information. Many online pharmacies phone customers when its time to reorder. Always allow for delays beyond the seller’s control.

Unfortunately, scammers are on the increase along with hard times. As an added safety measure, many experienced internet shoppers hold a separate, low limit credit card for online purchases. If somehow the credit card number falls into the wrong hands, financial loss is minimized.

Medicines are prescribed in order to treat or heal illnesses. It is important for consumers to know what is safe to be filled online and what is not. There is also a list of drugs from the FDA that cannot be purchased online due to safety restrictions that one can check before filling out an online prescription.



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