“The internet would be the last place I’d buy drugs,” said Thomas Kubic, president of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute. “There are just too many uncertainties,” he added. Recently, an online pharmacy advertised a generic version of a common heart medication in a national magazine – pricing the drug at $35.88. The ad stated that the usual price is $585.00. The phrase, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” most likely applies to these inexpensive and possibly fake drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action against some 4,100-plus online pharmacies in 2012 – closing sites in some cases. Many companies still continue to sell their drugs online, though some have wrong active ingredients (or no active ingredients) while others are extremely diluted or contain superpotent elements.

Kubic said be wary of absurdly low prices, though some online pharmacies raise their prices a bit to seem more legitimate. Another warning sign is an online pharmacy that doesn’t require a prescription. You can check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (nabp.net) to make certain a site meets U.S. pharmaceutical standards. Your best best however, may be to steer clear of online pharmacies completely………….. AARP The Magazine    February/March 2013

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