Are Foreign Drugs Safer Than You Think?

There are no reported examples of Americans dying by taking real, but F.D.A.-unapproved, medication bought online from a foreign pharmacy that requires valid prescriptions. This is after tens of millions of prescriptions have been filled online and internationally over the past 15 or so years, since online pharmacies were created. (NYT)

Comments (15)

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  1. Jesse B says:

    There is business to be made and profit to be earned with the lobbyists’ attempts to frighten the American population from buying legal international drugs. These efforts are only going to make it harder for Americans to receive their prescriptions and not necessarily more profit to the drug companies. Tricking the American population is never the best alternative.

  2. Gabriel R says:

    It’s widely known that pharmaceuticals don’t always come up with the cure because long term treatment is always more profitable. It is also known that they increase the price of these drugs significantly to improve their revenues. There is an oligopoly in the US, which harms consumers and benefit corporations. The only true competition is the one from legal international pharmacies, if the Federal Government limits this competition, American consumers will suffer greatly.

  3. Thomas says:

    Foreign drugs are generally the same as drugs sold domestically, just with different names or dyes, but the same therapeutic efficacy. If people get the Canadian version of Lipitor, they will be fine. However, looking for controlled medications is where they could get into trouble considering there is more money to be made.

    • Matthew says:

      Most meds I would think people wouldn’t bother counterfeiting because they aren’t lucrative enough. The buyer should know better between buying their oral diabetes medication or buying costly cancer meds from foreign providers.

      • Buddy says:

        Just because the FDA didn’t approve it doesn’t mean the medication is harmful.

        • Ralph G says:

          Most likely the reason why the FDA doesn’t approve a drug is because it threatens another company. I have always seen the pharmaceutical business as a shady border-line illegal business, in which all parties (except consumers) collude to maintain their status quo and fill their coffers.

  4. Patrick S says:

    The restrictions to imported drugs are another example of how the federal government is messing up with the healthcare industry and destroying the market. Soon all these restrictions that are in place, will cause the market to collapse dramatically taking us into another crisis.

  5. James M. says:

    “There are no reported examples of Americans dying by taking real, but F.D.A.-unapproved, medication bought online from a foreign pharmacy that requires valid prescriptions.”

    No reported deaths, but there are still risks associated, just like with any other medication.

    • Andrew says:

      There are plenty of risks. I challenge you to find a hospital emergency room in Texas that hasn’t had a patient take too much Viagra from Mexico and suffered problems dealing with that “situation.”

    • K. Rogoff says:

      I see no difference between domestic medicines and overseas ones.

  6. Von K. says:

    If it is safe and economical, I prefer foreign medicines.

  7. Linda Gorman says:

    Whether people die is a dumb metric. The question is whether they are getting the active ingredients they think they are. I suggest reading the AEI report on the extent of counterfeiting.

    You may not die, but you won’t necessarily be helped by taking a bunch of inactive ingredients, either.

    http://healthblog.ncpa.org/cheap-generic-drugs-from-emerging-markets-risky/

    and

    http://www.aei.org/article/health/medical-technology/pharmaceuticals/fake-drugs/