ALBANY, GA (WALB) -Justice Department officials say they are concerned that more Americans are buying medication illegally from foreign pharmacies, and investigations into the growing problem are underway. The Feds tell me that counterfeit medicines could be a prescription for disaster.
Justice Department officials say they are seeing an increase in Americans using the Internet to buy medications from foreign pharmacies, and they say they see an increase of counterfeit drugs being sent instead. Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Program Manager David Hargroder said “And we are starting to look at those. And we are starting to do investigations against these types of imports of controlled substances.”
DEA agents say across the nation more Americans are buying prescription pills and medications from foreign sources, but warn that customers more and more are getting counterfeit medicine, not what they want. Hargroder said “There is no FDA approval on them. There is no over site on these types o of drugs. And a lot of them are synthetic made.”Instead of being what the Doctor ordered, Pharmacists warn that buying from unknown sources could really hurt your health.
U-Save-It Pharmacist Betsy Urick said “You are thinking you are taking a medication that’s going to lower your blood pressure, but in fact it’s just inert or inactive ingredients, you are not going to be getting any benefit from that.”
The reason more people are buying medications from foreign sources is lower prices. Pharmacists say instead you should talk to them about cutting costs. Urick said “We can work with anyone who has, say a high cost medication, to look into finding something that may be less expensive for them, but equally effective. ”
The DEA warns besides the counterfeit concerns, it’s illegal to get prescription medications from foreign sources, and they are cracking down. DEA officials say they have investigators in some of the countries where these counterfeit medications are coming from, trying to combat the problem from the source.