Are Online Prescriptions Safe?
Desmond Waters, a pharmacy hospital administrator at Good Samaritan Hospital, discusses the safety of ordering prescription medications online with Local 12’s Liz Bonis during an Ask the Expert segment.
Is it Safe?
Waters says when he was working as a pharmacist and on the front lines, he was often asked questions regarding the safety of online medications. The main concern was around the authenticity of the product from the online order. Unless you know where the medication came from, Waters says it’s hard to tell if it’s the real thing. "Anything that you purchase that is not from a licensed retail us pharmacy, pharmacy outlet or hospital is not actually regulated by the FDA,” Waters explains.
What are the Risks?
When it comes to ordering your medications online, Waters says there are risks, including:
- Will you receive the correct medication?
- Will the medication be the proper strength?
"You could actually end up doing more harm than good if you get a drug that is not potent enough,” says Waters.
How Can I Save Money?
The main driver for people ordering medication online is a cost reduction. Waters wants everyone to know that there are cost cutting options available to the public, allowing you to receive your medications from a trusted source, at a lower cost. Waters explains, "If you get a new drug, talk with your physician make sure that's the right drug, make sure that there isn't a less expensive medication you could use. And if there isn't, then ask the physician does he have any vouchers, does he have any assistance. If he doesn't take it to the pharmacy and ask the same question, surprisingly enough, most, if not all have some sort of assistance, based on need."
Last Updated: September 20, 2013