Severe ME Day of Understanding and Remembrance: Aug. 8, 2017
Determined to paper the Internet with articles about ME, Jody Smith brings some additional focus to Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day of Understanding and Remembrance on Aug. 8, 2017 ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Tips for Finding Reliable and Trustworthy Online Pharmacies

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Hip, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes:
    12,489
    Cornwall, UK
    Oh dear - they've done it again - I was only given the option of paying via International payment again. I did it via my bank online - just hope I did it right as I was very foggy. Also ordered twice as much as wanted as the minimum payment was £100 and I couldn't work out where the extra money would go (the payment for the item was only £50).
     
    Hip likes this.
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

    Messages:
    8,796
    Likes:
    7,975
    australia (brisbane)
    For some reason they (govts or banks??) Making it hard to use credit cards for buying from pharmacies online. I think its apart of the west being a nanny state and government wanting to control everything and take away our personal choices.
     
  3. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes:
    2,313
    San Francisco
    No, it's pressure from the pharma industry, not nanny statism. People in the US pay way more for drugs than anyone else and they'd like to keep it that way.
     
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

    Messages:
    8,796
    Likes:
    7,975
    australia (brisbane)
    Australia with social health care, if they arent approved for the specific indication you pay full price or sometimes its not available. One examples was at one stage it was costing me $200 a month and one chemist wanted to charge me $400 for famvir 30 x 500mg tablets but if i had genital herpes it would have cost me $30. So i looked online for cheaper meds. The last yr or 2 famvir has had generics here that have helped push the price down to a much more reasonable price and lucky i have a gp willing to prescribe it, although reoccurring shingles has probably convinced him.

    I tried to get more specific testing for viral infections ebv, cmv etc but couldnt unless i had hiv, which i didnt. What i found frustrating was seeing people on forums like this getting testing for viruses that i was unable to and then being approved for antivirals like famvir cheaper than what i could get even if i was approved here.

    Im sure theres aspects in australia that are better then america and vice versa.I felt really bad for the Brits as they couldnt even get private scripts for many treatments to help cfsme and many pushed into cbt/get.

    Id say purely for cfsme, if money wasnt an issue, there is alot more options for treatment in america than in australia and the Brits are way behind. A uk gp can come close to losing their licence if they try b12 injections for a cfs patient. Too me thats very much a nanny state thing.

    My cfs gp was coming under greater scrutiny over time for sending people to have labs done too often. What i couldnt understand about this was that he was one of the few in the state i lived that saw cfs patients and to get a proper diagnosis many things have to be ruled out. The health system really didn't care, its cheaper and easier to diagnose and treat cfs patients as having depression. This gp i wouldnt recommend him to other cfs patients now, not because he's bad, the opposite really but because the health department scrutinize everything he does and he now seems too scared to treat even basic things without first sending you to a specialist.

    Big pharma probably is having a big say in the american health system but in australia the health system is a nanny state as they try to cut back cost on many issue with health. Im becoming or am or have lost confidence in the health system helping me beyond the very basics.

    I guess online pharmacies are an attraction to americans as its alot cheaper. For australians and im guessing Brits cost can be a factor but its mostly because certain treatments we just cant get access too.

    I guess its the same old storey, yuppie flu isnt taken seriously no matter where you live.
     
    Abha, MeSci and Art Vandelay like this.
  5. yarnee

    yarnee

    Messages:
    18
    Likes:
    5
  6. Francis Hale

    Francis Hale

    Messages:
    13
    Likes:
    20
    Of course, medicines in online pharmacies are cheaper and often they can be ordered without having a prescription from a doctor. Over the past 5 years, I have ordered medicines in about 10 different online pharmacies (usually naltrexone, medicines for men and some antibiotics). Recently I order on this site - http://bestmedicalstore.com/ . There were no problems.
     
    MeSci and shannah like this.
  7. rexbanner

    rexbanner

    Messages:
    7
    Likes:
    10
    When I try to order through GoldPharma at the moment it asks for a prescription at the checkout - either from a file upload or a webcam photo. It doesn't seem possible to skip this or go to a questionnaire like before. Have they changed their policy or something? Any way around it?
     
  8. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,898
    Likes:
    13,170
    On the goldpharma.com checkout page, should get the two options:
    If you select the second option, you will be directed to a very short online questionnaire, which acts as a medical consultation and prescription.
     
  9. rodgergrummidge

    rodgergrummidge

    Messages:
    25
    Likes:
    40
    Well done @Hip, Love your work!

    A few comments for discussion:


    Good business practice versus Goo manufacturing practice: The overview you have written is fantastic for helping people to identify companies that use exploitative business practices such as spamming, on-selling your contact details, failing to deliver products, failing to give refunds, internet fraud or any other riip-off business tactic. But, your search suggestions may not identify companies with good business practices but fail to follow good manufacturing practices (GMP). Why?

    Lets say you order acetyl-carnitine online to help increase fatty acid oxidation in the mitochondria (something that some CFS sufferers have tried). Your search suggestions above allow reputable companies to be identified with a good online profile that are not associated with scams or rip-offs. But Acetyl-Carnitine is a supplement that can be produced and sold online in many juristictions without any regulatory checks to confirm dosage, purity, formulation and contaminants. So while your search suggestions allow good business practices to be checked, they do not allow good manufacturing practices (GMP) to be checked. Thus, there is no way that the consumer can be assured that the "acetyl-carnitine. 1000mg" written on the bottle label is actually in the tablet. This is true for many supplements and drugs purchased online because they are classified by government regulations as foods and so are not required to meet stringent TGA or FDA regulations and inspections.

    "I bought a drug online, but it didnt work for me". This comment is all too common in these forums. However in such cases, there is often no way of knowing whether a 'reputable' company with good business practices is simply selling incorrectly formulated, partially active, or contaminated supplements/drugs. Even in instances where people in these forums have mentioned that a particular supplement/drug bought online has made CFS symptoms worse, it is almost always assumed that 'it was the wrong supplement/drug for me'. Unless there is a cluster of extreme adverse reactions such as liver failures or deaths, lack of activity or modest adverse reactions are never reported or investigated. However, the potential dangers are significant. For example, OxyElite Pro supplement claims to treat CFS symptoms in which it gives "sharper mental focus", "clears the fog" and increases energy". However it caused a cluster of liver failures in Hawaii and while it is now illegal in some countries, it is still available online! So the point is that there is often no simple way to determine whether a company is selling 1) a dangerous product (like OxyElite Pro), 2) an non-dangerous but inactive product with no therapeutic potential or 3) an active product with the correct dosage and formulation. Unfortunately, if companies sell products that do not lead to multiple serious adverse reactions, they can operate for years selling rubbish online and make a ton of money by taking advantage of sick people.

    Online drugs and supplements. How reliable are they? How common is it that supplements or online drugs are correctly synthesized, formulated and not contaminated with impurities? Its not an easy question to answer, but some publications suggest that it is prevalent. For example, a 2013 North American study examined 44 herbal products representing 12 companies and 30 different species of herbs and 50 leaf samples collected from 42 herbal species. What they found was alarming. Most products (59%) were contaminated by plant products not listed on the label. Furthermore, ~30% contained fillers and contaminants not listed on the label. Nearly 70% demonstrated that product substitution had occurred! Overall, only 2/12 companies were identified as selling products having no detectable substitutions or undeclared contaminant and fillers (Newmaster et al. BMC Medicine 2013, 11:222).

    So how do I source supplements/drugs with correct dosage, formulation and have been checked for possible contaminations? In short, there is no easy answer to this question. Like many in these forums, I have been faced with difficult choices in which supplements/drugs to try and where to purchase them from. The supplements industry has been a gold rush over the last decade. Any multi-billion dollar industry that is so unregulated that almost anyone can set up a factory/lab to synthesize and sell supplements/drugs online is going to be a disaster for consumers. Even my medical doctor seemed to be unaware of some of the issues when he urged me to buy N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) online and see if it helped. The medicinal chemistry required for NAC synthesis is not simple and it is likely that at least some online companies either fail to correctly synthesize NAC or synthesize a product contaminated with partially synthesized intermediates.

    Some jurisdictions like the US allow companies to sell drugs and supplements online as food products and so there are few regulations, independent verification or testing (as confirmed in the Study outlined above). Other jurisdictions, such as Australia, are stricter with many supplements and non-prescription drugs being subject to TGA regulations and inspections. Thus, one simple way to avoid companies that fail to follow GMP is to buy supplements/drugs from companies that are subject to TGA or FDA regulations.

    Not sure if I solved any problems but hopefully this discussion is useful

    Rodger
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,898
    Likes:
    13,170
    There is no reason why you cannot check up on the pharmaceutical company that supplies the drug, as all online pharmacies will tell you which brands of drug they are selling. For example, some of the online pharmacies with very low prices, such as www.buypharma1.com (which I use a lot), sell drugs made by the Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla, among other brands, so one might want to research into that pharmaceutical company (a review of Cipla is given here).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page