Rise in Popularity of Online Pharmacies Has Serious Consequences

The unregulated sale of controlled drugs through online pharmacies is a growing trend in the United States. In a society heavily influenced by the sultry lure of the prescription medications that are currently used to treat a variety of biological and behavioral problems, it comes as no surprise that eventually many of our medical needs would be met by online pharmaceutical retailers. There are many benefits to this type of drug distribution. The disabled or homebound population can have their medications conveniently delivered to their homes, shoppers enjoy a certain level of discretion and anonymity, and the selection of products is vast. Item information can be easily researched and compared through the use of websites, and computers can quickly catch potentially dangerous prescription errors. However, despite the seeming benefits of this online trade, there are many significant drawbacks also associated with the sale of online prescription drugs.

In a study released last Wednesday July 9th, by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, under the leadership of Joseph Califano, it was found that most websites selling prescription opioids, stimulants, and depressants require no legitimate prescription to do so. This rise in illegitimate drug activity has also been linked to the growing abuse of prescription drugs especially amongst college students. This year alone there are 365 sites devoted to selling controlled medications by mail. Controlled drugs commonly purchased without a prescription included Oxycontin, methadone, Vicodin, Xanax, and Valium.

According to a 2005 study completed by Christopher Littlejohn and his associates, online merchants can be categorized into four basic types–“legitimate,” “subscription,” “lifestyle” and “no-prescription.” Legitimate pharmacies operate similarly to traditional pharmacies. Customers must have a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner, and in general these websites do not offer the types of controlled prescription drugs that are most commonly obtained illegally and abused. Users of subscription pharmacies are granted access to a full range of drugs without a prescription once they sign up for a program and pay a membership fee. These subscription websites are furtively maintained in hard-to-regulate areas of the world like Mexico and Asia. Lifestyle pharmacies ask customers to fill out a medical questionnaire in lieu of a prescription. They commonly provide more elective or luxury drugs that treat conditions such as alopecia, obesity, and impotence. No-Prescription pharmacies are just that. These are sites that are willing to mail controlled drugs to online customers without a prescription. Littlejohn’s study also contended that the people who most commonly ordered drugs illegally from these websites were literate, credit card owning individuals with internet access. These three factors also lead to the inference that the abusers of online pharmacies are of a relatively high socioeconomic status.

There are many distressing consequences associated with the sale of prescription drugs online. Unlike conventional pharmacies, there is little to no consumer protection over the internet. Products can be advertised with false claims and the sale of unapproved trial drugs goes unchecked. The administrators of illegal websites often remain anonymous and can quickly disable and create new sites that make it difficult for any regulatory agency to keep track of their activities. Operations are also commonly run outside of the U.S. making law enforcement officials scramble to put together international cooperation efforts.

This lack of effective online pharmacy regulation can lead to disastrous consequences. Francine Haight of La Mesa, Calif lost her son Ryan to an overdose of the generic form of Vicodin, which he ordered without her permission online with a debit card. “The Internet made it easy for the drug dealers to sneak into your living room,” she said. The sale of online drugs has lead to drug and substance abuse, and death related to drug interactions, incorrect dosage or administration, and impure drugs. Illegal prescriptions can end up in the hands of children or others who are incapable of using them responsibly.

As the sale of controlled drugs without a prescription is a recent phenomenon, means of combating the trend are still in development. The FDA has vowed to increase public outreach and awareness, expand enforcement, and develop tighter bonds of international cooperation. In April the “Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act” was approved by the Senate and is currently being reviewed in House committee meetings. If passed, the legislation would require online pharmacies to be properly certified and for doctors to meet in person with patients before giving out a prescription for a controlled drug. Some state governments have already passed laws that regulate the online drug trade but many advocates are pushing for stricter federal regulation. Some search engine companies have begun to fight back against online sellers by employing a program called, “Pharmacy Checker.” The device filters out unlawful advertisers and forces them to provide verification.

The sale of controlled drugs over the internet is proliferating quickly and as is commonly seen with progress in technology, there is a gap between action and regulation. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, 85% of internet drugs sales are controlled drugs while only 11% of those same drugs are being sold at traditional pharmacies. These statistics display the obvious potential for drug abuse and need for greater online pharmaceutical quality control. In a society where prescription drugs have become the norm rather than psychotherapy, counseling, or cognitive behavioral therapy, this online market flourishes.

Sources:

Eckholm, Eirk. (2008, July 9). Abuses Found in Online Sales of Medication. New York Times, Retrieved July 10th, 2008, from nytimes.com/2008/07/09/health/09drugs.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Henney, Jane. (2001). Cyberpharmacies and the role of the US Food and Drug Administration. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 3(1), Retrieved July 10, 2008 from the PubMed database.

Littlejohn,C., Baldacchino, A., Schifano, F., & Deluca, P. (2005). Internet Pharmacies And Online Prescription Drug Sales: a cross-sectional study. Drugs: education prevention and policy, 12, 75-80. Retrieved July 10th 2008, from the Academic Search Premier database.

Prescription Drug Online Pharmacy Finder

From the past decade, the online shopping is growing rapidly around the world. Especially, purchasing Prescription drugs through online is become very popular. Not only purchasing Prescription drugs also you can purchase vitamin foods, over the counter medicines, items for health care, the medicines for diabetic and important weight loss products and many more. And also with this online pharmacy, you can find a pharmacy store which is nearer to you, and also you can send your prescription through mail and your medicines delivered at your doorsteps. There are so many online pharmacy stores are having their websites in internet. You need to visit their website and fill a form and email your prescriptions. These people will follow some particular steps and rules after that they will send you drugs.

When you are filling the online form, you need to provide some personal information like your name, mailing address, and some important details like doctor name, dispensary and prescription proof. And also you need to provide the details about the payment process. After that, they will finalize the prescription order and information regarding the insurance policy which you are holding now and shipping information. The payment mode should be either online payment, or you need to visit the store to complete the payment process depends upon the online pharmacy which you have selected. When you are decided to pay the amount through online, you need to consider some important things to complete the process. First, please check that the website having a secured transaction process or not. Please make sure that this website must have the HTTP configuration. Some of the internet criminal is doing hacking the websites and stealing the information about payment and medical information.

The next generation of pharmacy is the online pharmacy, with the devastating growth of internet this will create a new history in online shopping. In this competitive pharmacy business, if you want to survive you need to have a secured web site. When you are selecting the best online pharmacy store, you need to check their site credentials and licensed certificate issued by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. If any pharmacy web site is not clearing your queries, it is better to choose another website in internet. It is better to select the large pharmacy group which is well known to everyone. And also it is great ideas select the store which you have already dealt with them. Any how, the future pharmacy is online pharmacy.

E-Fencing – The New Drug of Choice

The E-Fencing of Stolen Goods is a $40 Billion Dollar a Year Criminal Enterprise!

Most of us purchase used computers, electronics and digital cameras for the foremost reason that the item can be purchased for a lesser amount than new units and most have enough functionality to do everything we need the item to do. When making such purchases online and from flea-markets, swap meets, garage sales etc., there is a high degree of risk of purchasing an item that has been reported as being lost or stolen. The incidence of purchasing stolen computers and electronics is more likely when the items are purchased from third party computer and electronics dealers, like some of the ‘fly by night’ computer and electronics dealers online, or from a theft store or pawnbroker who has no idea about the history of the electronics they are selling.

Unfortunately, with today’s online marketplace constantly changing and the theft across the US of electronics and pharmaceuticals ever increasing, the consumer has become sort of a ‘pawn’ in the business of selling stolen property. Each hour of each day, thousands of items known to be stolen are placed up for sale through the use of online marketplaces, auction sites and classified ad services.
The business of selling stolen goods online through one of the hundreds of online auction services and classified ad services is fast becoming a business that is more profitable than the selling of illegal drugs with less risk.

The purchasers of new or used items weather online or from Flea Markets, Swap Meets, Garage Sales etc., MUST use due diligence when considering their purchases as, any item later found to be reported stolen could subject the current owner to criminal charges and fines (which could prove very embarrassing if the item was given as a gift to someone!). The possession of stolen property is a Felony in most States in the US weather the holder/new owner knew the item was stolen or not.

The following measures can be taken to avoid purchasing stolen electronics. Always Remember: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is!!

One of the safe measures to employ when purchasing new or used electronics online is to purchase through the use of a credit card or other form of secure payment rather than making a purchase using checks or meeting the seller and paying for the purchase in cash. If the seller insists on cash as the form of payment, the purchaser can be fairly sure that the computer or electronics item may be stolen. Also, stolen computers and electronics are sold at prices that tend to be below wholesale. If the buyer has good knowledge about the pricing trends of both new and used computers and electronics in the market-place, they can easily figure-out if the item being offered for sale as new, used or ‘slightly’ used is a legitimate offer or not.

The ‘due diligence’ used during the purchasing of used computers and electronics online is of utmost importance as, a reputed dealer or seller will have an established location and or online business. They tend to not sell on the streets. Therefore, it is better to avoid buying used computers and electronics from un-established street vendors or online sellers, who may be fly by night sellers of stolen goods, without checking the items reported lost/stolen status. Such sellers attract the buyers with excessively low pricing or heavy discounts or even freebies along with the computer or electronic item if the sale can be completed ‘right now’. If the buyer is not sure about the item, they can very well ask for the documents i.e. receipts from the original purchase, serial number registration paperwork etc., pertaining to the item. If no receipts or other documents are available for the original purchase, the item could very well be stolen. The best method of finding out is to check the serial number or unique identifier of the item which can be done with the help of local law enforcement or one of the online services that offer such services.

As the buyer, you have all the right to ask the seller about the reason for the sale of the item, where it was purchased and type of payment was made initially. If the buyer is satisfied with the answers received, they can at that time go ahead with the purchase or, move on to the next best seller. If purchasing items in person, at times one can ‘sense’ if the seller is genuine or not through the sellers body language. Some persons in the business of selling illegal items will show jittery type movements, will agree to sell for a rock bottom price or, will offer to ‘throw in’ something extra if you meet their price right then and there.

The sale of stolen electronics and other goods online happens a lot more often than most people would tend to think, or would even want to imagine. Because the sellers of stolen goods have the ability to price goods at whatever price they feel the ‘market’ will bare, it can sometimes be pretty easy to know when something is ‘To Good To Be True.’

Follow these simple tips:
1. Know as much as you can about the seller.
2. Ask for the serial number and or unique identifier number.
3. Always verify the serial numbers lost/stolen status.
4. Always pay using a credit card.