In the United States, prescription drugs can be prohibitively expensive. Medical care as a whole is pricey, and unless you are receiving a refill, each prescription is likely coupled with an expensive visit to a doctor or specialist. Because of stringent Food and Drug Administration regulations, all prescriptions must come from a licensed professional, which adds to the cost consumers already face.
For many people struggling to afford medication, any opportunity to save money is worth consideration. Unfortunately, some of these alternatives are illegal, and may be putting your health at risk.
Internet Pharmacies: Think Before You Click
While it seems as though Americans can get just about anything online, pharmaceuticals still remain a commodity that may be best purchased through traditional means. Many online pharmacies are based in foreign countries and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Under FDA guidelines, only licensed professionals can prescribe medication, and pharmacists are not among the approved prescribers.
This leaves online pharmacies one of two options: prescribe you a medication without a license, or have a doctor speak with you online and then issue a prescription. Even if the doctor is truly a doctor, he or she does not have an existing doctor/patient relationship with you, which would raise several red flags in the professional medical community.
Will You Get What You’ve Paid for?
Remember, prescription medication is heavily regulated because it has the potential to injure or kill you when used incorrectly. While a cheap price tag may seem appealing, it could come at a great cost. There have been too many cases of people poisoned or killed by taken drugs ordered from unregulated online pharmacies—drugs that are sometimes adulterated, mislabeled, expired, or even completely fraudulent.
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