Buying Drugs Online.
Buying drugs from Canadian online pharmacies can equal big savings, but first know your sources.
Pharmaceutical Outsourcing continued...
"There are about 60 locations where the pharmaceutical industry
manufactures all across the world," Albano tells WebMD. "Lipitor, for
example, comes from Ireland, is manufactured and shipped to the United States
and then shipped to Canada. And some Lipitor goes right from Ireland to Canada,
so this whole notion that Canadian medications are not safe is simply
Barry Power, PharmD., director of practice development for the Ottawa-based
Canadian Pharmacists Association tells WebMD that "most drugs are made in
one or two global locations and then exported to all the countries, so even the
term 'reimportation' is technically incorrect. And there are actually quite a
few drugs that are made in Canada, so it's all just a matter of spin-doctoring
in a lot of cases."
Mayor Albano had confidence in the source of the lower-cost drugs his city
offered to municipal employees and retirees because he had done his homework,
he says. "Before we started the program officially in Springfield, I went
to Canada and went to the pharmacies. I spoke to the pharmacists, and then we
started my son on his insulin and related products three months prior to the
official beginning of the program. The idea was that it's a medication that you
have to take precautions with, and I thought my public employees would realize
that 'if it's good enough for the mayor's family, then it would be good enough
As for the regulatory authorities, Albano says that the FDA made a lot of
noise at the time the program was announced but took no real action to stop it.
Since then, many city and state governments have implemented or announced
similar plans. The FDA has continued to shy away from enforcing regulations in
But while buying cheaper drugs from reputable online pharmacists at home or
abroad can save you plenty, obtaining drugs blindly from a site you've never
heard of could also buy you major trouble. The FDA, Federal Trade Commission,
and consumer watchdog groups warn that when you order from web sites you're not
sure about, you could be getting counterfeit drugs that contain no active
ingredients or even harmful substances.
Most consumers are smart enough to know that the "Rolex" watch
offered by a street-corner peddler is sure to be a cheap knockoff. If you want
the real thing, you go to a reputable jeweler down the street. But when the
street is just one little block on the information superhighway, how can you
tell whether you're dealing with a respectable storefront operation or a
You only need to glance at the spam clogging your inbox to see that some
charlatan somewhere -- whether it's in the Bahamas, Beijing, Africa, or Alabama
-- is willing to take your money in exchange for drugs that promise to make
your sex life better, grow hair on a billiard ball, double your lifespan, or
let you eat deep-fried Twinkies while you watch the pounds melt away!
Some sites offer the chance to "buy drugs (FDA-approved prescription
drugs) and other medications with NO prescription." Others promise that
only a brief online or telephone consultation is needed. When Consumer
Reports magazine senior editor Tod Marks went online to see what he could
get without a valid prescription, he found this: "Without visiting or
speaking to a doctor, Marks was able to buy seven different prescription drugs
-- to help him lose weight, quit smoking, combat osteoporosis, and fight aging,
depression, seasonal allergies, and bacterial infection. Except for the
antihistamine, which might have helped his hay fever, Marks, a healthy
44-year-old nonsmoker, had no business taking those medications," the