Internet drug scams – A medical decoy that may cost you a life

With busy life and hectic work schedules, consumers today prefer everything that saves time. Internet has made this job all the more easier, as today right from paying bills to buying movie tickets and shopping online to booking travel tickets, everything can be done on internet within few seconds.

With internet trend growing, consumers today are getting lured by lots of choices for buying prescription drugs through internet these days. This has given rise to a global scam in form of counterfeit drugs sold online. By buying some of the drugs online, one might not only spend money on ineffective drugs, but worse, one could be harmed by taking drugs that aren’t what they pretend to be.

This business is booming, unfortunately, especially in a down economy, where people think they can cut corners to save money. A dismal economy is forcing more & more consumers to seek cheaper drugs available online.

However, what looks like a fabulous and cheap deal on a particular drug could end up being a box of counterfeit drugs that will not only fail to cure but also could be hazardous to health. Claims of deep discounts are a warning that the site is bogus, and what you end up receiving could very well be counterfeit, stolen or even contaminated.

It is estimated that fake drugs are behind projected 700,000 deaths from malaria and tuberculosis. The World Health Organization estimates that fake drugs comprise 10 per cent of the global medicine market, and 25 per cent of the market in developing countries.

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Experts say that consumers need to keep in mind that while medications bought through Internet-based pharmacies can be a bit cheaper, the prices do not vary that radically from those offered at registered medical stores. And consumers should be extremely wary of sites that claim they can dispense drugs without a prescription, which is violation of law.

Tips for safe medicine shopping

Buy prescription medications from a safe, reputable source.

When you buy medications online, make sure the seller is properly licensed.

If the seller is unfamiliar, check the company details with your state board of pharmacy or any other reliable source, which can tell you if the pharmacy/seller is licensed.

Know your medications

If you know the specifications like size, shape, color, taste, and side effects of the prescriptions you take, it is easier to identify possible counterfeits. Contact your pharmacist or doctor if you notice anything different about a medication.

Pay attention to packaging

Check for altered or unsealed containers, or changes in the packaging or label. Contact your pharmacist or doctor if you notice any such changes.

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