A 58-year-old woman from British Columbia who ordered medications from an online drugstore was found dead with dangerously high levels of toxic metallic elements such as aluminum, phosphorus, titanium, tin, strontium, and arsenic in her system. These elements were suspected to have come from counterfeit medications that were sent to her by an Internet pharmacy. In another story, a 19-year-old boy ordered prescription from a Mexico-based Internet pharmacy without a proper prescription note. He was found dead from Xanax overdose.
These stories depict the possible risks you expose yourself to when you purchase prescription medicines through Internet pharmacies without prescription. Counterfeit drugs may contain hidden ingredients that may bring out undesirable drug interactions or severe allergic reactions that may become fatal. Also, young adults who are not allowed to purchase narcotics may be able to get a hold of potentially habit-forming substances that may lead to overdose when used unnecessarily.
Aside from medical complications, using Internet pharmacies may open you to possibilities of having your identity stolen by hackers or owner of scam online drugstores. The personal information you submitted through the website’s questionnaire may be used by shady individuals for their transactions. Your financial information may also be used by opportunistic people to make purchases without your permission. Some scam Internet pharmacies collect the information submitted through their medical questionnaires and sell them off to other 3rd party companies.
There hasn’t been any national law made to resolve this concern. However, certain states have passed their own laws that require all pharmacies to be certified first before they can proceed to operate. Online drugstores need to meet certain requirements set by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to become Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites or VIPPS-certified. It is a slow but steady start to clear the Internet of opportunistic online pharmacies whose only intention is to rip-off their customers.
It would be unfair to say that purchasing items such as prescription medications over the Internet is unsafe, though, because there are Internet-based businesses trying to make an honest living on the web. The important thing to remember is to look for a reputable and well-established online drugstore. The NABP website shows a list of VIPPS-certified drugstores allowed to operate and dispense prescription medications in your state. Being VIPPS-certified stipulates for online drugstores to ask for a valid prescription note before filling a customer’s order for prescription medications. The Internet pharmacy should also provide you access to a licensed pharmacist to assist you if you have any concern regarding the medication and the proper dosing required.
Keep in mind that aside from the health hazards of buying prescription drugs from suspicious online drugstores, your privacy is also at risk. So it is also important that you take note of the Internet pharmacy’s privacy and security policies. Make sure that the company protects and safeguards the information you entrusted to them when you filled out their online medical questionnaire. Make sure that you buy only from websites that will assure you of quality and secured products and services you deserve.