Welcome to Charlie Consumer's Webpage.
CHARLIE'S FIRST EPISODE
Are counterfeit medications worth the risk?
Charlie Consumer was created by Accessrx.com to answer health questions through an interactive cartoon series.
AccessRx has compiled helpful consumer information on the dangers of counterfeit medications.
Vote on what question Charlie Consumer answers next!
We will always allow our visitors to determine what steps Charlie Consumer takes in his next cartoon. Participate in our poll, which closes on April 30. The next cartoon will be posted by May 31. Vote now!
The Dangers of Counterfeit Medications
One old adage is true when it comes to buying medications online: Some people just don't get it.
In today's economy, or any economy, who in their right mind would take the chance of putting unknown drugs or substances in their body - just to save a few bucks? Well, the overwhelming answer is... millions of people.
If consumers would just stop for a few moments to consider what they are doing, and look at the potential health risks associated with counterfeit medications, then counterfeit medications would not be as pervasive.
Don't Take the Risk
When you buy medications online, identify a U.S.-based pharmacy that sells only FDA-approved medications. They should provide a toll-free number, not just an email. Go ahead and call them, and ask them some tough questions. Ask if you can speak with their doctor or pharmacist.
If you see cost savings at 40 percent or more over the brand-name medications you find online, be sure to determine if the FDA has approved a "generic" version of the drug. If not, you're probably dealing with counterfeits. For instance, no FDA-approved generics exist for Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. In other words, if you see generic Viagra, it is considered an illegal, counterfeit drug in the United States.
Saving money is one thing. Willingly putting yourself in harm's way is another. Here are some reasons to make the right decision:
Potential Risks of Imported Counterfeit Drugs
- Quality assurance concerns. Medications that have not been approved for sale in the U.S are sometimes created in unsanitary, make-shift labs or warehouses. About half of all counterfeit medications tested are cited for being unsafe for consumption, and obviously are ineffective.
- Presence of untested substances. Some imported medications - even those that bear the name of a U.S.-approved product - may, in fact, be counterfeit versions. Certain ingredients, perhaps addictive in nature, may not have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness in the U.S.
- Risks of unsupervised use. Some medications, whether imported or not, require adequate medical supervision, including an evaluation by a physician. This ensures the medication is appropriate for you, and that other medications you take will not cause serious side effects.
- Lack of information or language/labeling issues. An imported medication may lack FDA-required labeling or patient information that would permit you to be promptly and correctly treated for serious side effects.
- No regulations or accountability for mishandled orders, fraud, etc. When you buy medication from a foreign country, you have little or no recourse, or ability to recover what is due to you. If you experience serious side effects, fail to receive what you ordered or are the victim of fraud, there is little you can do because there are no U.S. or FDA regulations in effect.
- Choose AccessRx. When you purchase medications from AccessRx, you work with U.S.-based entities that provide only FDA-approved medications prescribed and filled by U.S.-licensed doctors and pharmacists. There is no need to be concerned about the above ill effects that are associated with counterfeit medications.