There are too many websites where there is no requirement for a doctor’s prescription or approval to be able to receive drugs that under any other circumstances would require a prescription; however, on the internet, the only thing needed is a credit card and an address. Internet pharmacies are a growing problem in the U.S.
Buying Drugs Online
In many cases, the individual clicks on a website or responds to an email advertising prescription drugs and they fill out an order. Some companies have a phone or chat representative contact the customer and they ask a few questions. These companies do not contact a prescribing professional, nor do they address the possibility that the individual placing the order may be addicted to the drug or want to sell the drug to someone else.
Working to Stop Internet Pharmacies
Internet drug abuse has taken some measures to avoid the consequences by enlisting the services of a physician to write prescriptions for their records; but again, the doctor does not interact with the individual ordering the drugs. There is no consultation, no physical exam; simply a signature for the record.
The Cost of Internet Pharmacies
Depending on the prescription drug ordered, it could be as high as $20 per pill. Most of these companies do not take insurance. Although prescription painkillers seem to be the most expensive, the availability and the cost of other drugs such as sedatives, stimulants, and hypnotics can be pricey as well compared to U.S. based pharmacies.
The Problem with Internet Pharmacies
Internet Pharmacies are a problem because they will sell drugs to anyone with an address and a credit card. This means that children and teens can place an order online; individuals with co-occurring illnesses including mental illness and individuals with the intent to sell them on the streets.
No safety regulations are put in place to ensure the quality of the drug being sold or the safety of the product.
The law in the U.S. is very clear on this issue. If you are taking a prescription, the bottle has to have your name on it. There have been several high profile cases involving Internet Pharmacies.