Thursday, June 2, 2011


Most of us get lots of spam for low cost prescription drugs. The spam usually consists of drugs that promise to increase the size of various body parts but there are others as well. I know many of you are buying from these scammers otherwise there would be no motivation for them to send us all these fraudulent messages. So cut it out, will ya? In the meantime, let’s take a skeptical look at what you would get if you took these people up on their offers.

Let me first make it very clear that I am not a doctor. I haven’t even played one on TV. But I am capable of using online resources to find reputable depositories of legitimate medical information. So with that disclaimer out of the way:

If you are using an online pharmacy to get cheaper drugs, one of the first things you need to be aware of are that some online pharmacies advertise amazing discounts, but peddle expired or counterfeit medications. Saving a few dollars isn't a bargain if you're putting your health at risk.

But back to the drugs advertised in spam messages: I read an article from WebMD and found the following: “In 2007, MarkMonitor, a company that records data about the use of brand names online, researched the sale of six popular drugs from Internet pharmacies. The results were alarming. The researchers found that: Only four out of 3,166 online pharmacies had proper accreditation. 10% required no prescription. 41% were outside the U.S. and over half didn't properly secure customer data.“

Another source I use for quality medical information is the World Health Organization (WHO). They performed a study that concluded that, “In over 50% of cases, medicines purchased over the Internet from illegal sites have been found to be counterfeit.” Another group of researchers from London repeated this study and found the same results. In other words, the drugs sold were completely worthless. The WHO also analyzed the chemical makeup of a few different mail order medicines. One source selling counterfeit Zyprexa and Lipitor lacked the main ingredient. A sampling of Viagra and Cialis also found no active ingredient. One blood pressure medicine had 6 times the normal dose of active ingredient which resulted in 2 deaths and 9 people being hospitalized.

So, there you have it; respond to one of those drug spam messages and there is a very good chance that you will get exactly what you pay for. So don’t be taken, friends. One of the most valuable assets to your health is your local pharmacist and doctor. They know what you are taking. They know if one drug will cause dangerous reactions if taken with other drugs. If financial distress has motivated you to be desperate enough to use online pharmacies, smack some sense into yourself. Then please call your insurance carrier, doctor or pharmacist who can advise you of what steps you can take to save money without killing yourself.

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