A recent FDA study -1 in 4 Americans have purchased prescription medicines online. At this writing there are approximately 35,000 – 50,000 online drug-seller websites.
Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, Internet Pharmacies: Federal Agencies and States Face Challenges Combating Rogue Sites, Particularly Those Abroad detailing the large and grave problem of illegal, online pharmacies. You need to know it concluded that 97% of all online drug sellers operate illegally. In 2012 FDA sent warning letters to one internet company ‘CanadaDrugs.com’.
FYI: It is illegal to in the US to get prescription meds without having had a recent medical evaluation – that is one needs a valid prescription. There are many good health reasons this is so:
– you may have been taking medication in the past but your body and it reaction to the medication can change with time,
– do you need a stronger dosage,
– are you having complications
– no or not sufficient improvement with the medication
All too common many of the medications purchased online are counterfeits or misbranded drugs.
HONESTLY – Do you want to put a chemical that you purchased from an illegitimate sources into your body?
When a negative ‘surprise’ (or abnormal experience) occurs after taking medications or using a medical device – you can easily take action. Means are available and include bedsides the obvious of calling the pharmacy or medical subscriber – you can ‘go to’ the FDA! The FDA website (medwatch) is a plethora of information with plenty of research and you can also report your concern.
Examples of concern include:
- it occurs to you that there might be a problem with the quality of the drug, product or medical device
- often you were taking a drug that worked then you were switched to a different manufacturer (usually a generic company) by the pharmacy or your insurance plan only to have it not ‘work’
- experience a reaction you believe to be a side effect – new symptoms or worsening symptoms after taking a drug or using a medical product/device
- took a drug, or used a medical device incorrectly and it may have had a negative/unsafe effect for you.
Know there are many ways for YOU to address any of the above possible concerns:
-anyone can call the FDA at 1-800-332-1080 or go to their help website.
– a specific form (MEDWATCH Consumer Voluntary Reporting) can be filled in online or printed and mailed in. Please consider using this reporting mechanism.
If you are researching or want to know about a specific drug or device – your source should be ‘medwatch’ – a free ‘.gov’ site of the FDA. Here anyone can have access to info about such things as tobacco products, cosmetics, including veterinary products it is a great ‘go to’ site. Want to know about foods and especially current recalls and outbreaks this site is the way to find out. I was glad to see also covered was ‘dietary supplements’ – we all take so many of them.
This is a superb all-inclusive FREE info site!
Why Not? Realize that before 2020, 1 in 4 drivers will be over 65!
You know age affects driving skills. Think about response times (reflexes), vision along with possibility of side effects from medication(s) taken for medical conditions. Remember certain medical conditions can affect ability to drive safely.
Many state motor vehicle agencies have tests for older drivers. You can also purchase a CD or take such a test free online. This test measures 8 functional abilities that are linked to crash risk in older drivers. Check out seniordriving.AAA.com for free tests and information.
Do not just think about the driver’s ability – the car has to be right – hence the birth of “CarFit” (car-fit.org) an education program to evaluate if the vehicle (seat height, restraints, access to pedals mirrors) is right for the senior driver.
This week, give some attention to the older driver in your life!