Dangers of Buying Counterfeit Generic Medicines: An Interview with Raymond Woosley, Founder of C-Path
Many Americans spend their entire lives searching for the best deals that they can find. We always want to find the cheapest car with the best gas mileage, or the coolest smartphone with the longest battery life. Another thing that millions of Americans have in common is we all use some type of prescription medication. From Lipitor for lowering cholesterol, Nexium for antacid, to even Viagra for those of us suffering from erectile dysfunction we are always looking to save some money when we can. But drugs have billions of dollars of research behind them and are still treated as a commodity, when they should in fact be respected as the powerful chemical compounds that they are. When purchasing pharmaceuticals online, looking for the cheapest option can often lead to deadly consequences.
Why Do People Purchase Generic Medications over Brand-Name Medications?
Most of us purchase generic medications for one reason and one reason only: Price. Who wants to spend extra money when you can get the same generic medication at a much lower cost? That is a very valid reason but what many of us fail to realize is that purchasing medications online that will be ingested into your body is not like buying a car. Generic versions of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are not currently available on the US market but that sure hasn’t stopped snake oil salesmen looking to target unsuspecting people online.
Look at some of the images below and tell me what they all have in common.
If you guessed that they are all selling generic versions of drugs that are not even made, then you would be correct! Television ads for Viagra and Cialis have trivialized erectile dysfunction drugs into nothing more than lifestyle drugs. We as Americans need to understand that these are chemicals and foreign substances that are being ingested into your body and they need to be respected as the health care tools they were created to be used as.
Are People Aware They Are Buying Counterfeit Medicines?
For some reason Americans have this misconception that the FDA regulates everything under the sun because they are a government organization. If you were one of those many Americans you are in for a rude awakening.
In 2010, Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D, Commissioner of Food and Drugs while speaking with Partnership for Safe Medicines stated, “It is also clear that the agency needs new regulatory tools that provide the authority we need to meet the challenges we face in today’s increasing globalized marketplace…we look forward to working with Congress on legislation that will give FDA the ability to protect Americans from harmful drugs and medical products—and fulfill our fundamental public health mission.” Did you catch that? She didn’t say the FDA is happy to have the ability to protect Americans from harmful drugs. She said the FDA is looking forward to working with Congress to gain the ability to protect Americans from harmful drugs.
So now when you see a McAfee Secure logo and “Generic Viagra Cheap” all over the page, do you suddenly feel safe giving out your credit card and intimate medical information just to save a few bucks? All while knowing that the FDA admittedly doesn’t have the ability to protect you from drugs bought online and imported from other countries? No, I didn’t think so.
What Are the Risks Involved With Taking Counterfeits?
There are numerous risks involved with taking counterfeit medicines that were purchased from fake online pharmacies. The worst of those is obviously death but the range can vary depending on what you ingested without knowing it. Pills headed to the United States but confiscated in counterfeit drug busts were tested and found to have mercury, lead, and even arsenic in them. Some others contain sub-potent versions of the medicines they were supposed to be. Even worse, many times they simply have none of the active ingredients in them at all.
Recently fake versions of Avastin the cancer drug were found circulating around the US marketplace. These counterfeit drugs contained none of the life saving medicines that patients desperately needed and the shipping of the fake medicines was eventually tied directly back to CanadaDrugs.com.
Is Ordering from Canadian Pharmacies the Same as Ordering from one US based?
The fact is there is no clear way to distinguish between ordering from a Canadian pharmacy of US pharmacy just based on marking alone. The only way to make sure you are getting the best treatment and medicines possible is by going to meet with your physician face to face. You need a relationship with that person because trust is everything.
Did you know that the average American over the age of 65 is taking 15 prescriptions per year? Many veterans are even taking over 8 prescriptions pills a day! Pfizer says 50% of prescription medicines bought from internet sites that conceal their physical address are counterfeit. Many elderly and veterans turn to the internet for their prescription because they want the cheapest price. That added up to a lot of fake medicines floating around when on Oct 4, 2012, the FDA shutdown more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites and seized more than $10.5 million in counterfeit medicines.
What Can the FDA do to Educate Consumers?
In order to stay safe when purchasing medications online you need to take steps to protect your own health. You need to always make sure to surround yourself with a trusted team that manages your medical treatments. A physician that you can sit down, visit, and speak with face to face is ideal because you can establish trust which is vital in the doctor patient relationship.
In this day and age, many people use the internet to purchase a wide variety of things, pharmaceuticals included, and the FDA has some ways for you to stay protected and safe. When purchasing medications online, the FDA recommends following these 4 easy steps.
- Get Prescription
- Get to Know Online Pharmacy
- Only Buy from a Safe, Legal Online Pharmacy
- Take Medicine as Directed
Well that seems pretty straight forward. Why take the chance of taking medicines that aren’t genuine FDA approved products when you can take the real deal? To save a few bucks at the expense of your health in the long run? Drugs like Viagra, Lipitor, and Avastin have billions of dollars of research put into them and need to be respected. For your safety and health: Don’t make the deadly mistake of putting FAKE versions of generic Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra that don’t even exist in your body!
Counterfeit generic medicines can kill so stay safe! Only accept genuine FDA approved medicines that come packaged with a Physicians name and a lot number for the medicine so you can verify the authenticity of the medicine.