Stockpiling Medicines? Careful Where You Buy Them!

The news is full these days of warnings from the Federal Drug Administration about the dangers of stockpiling medicines by purchasing drugs from online pharmacies.  Apparently many pharmacies that say they are located in Canada (which is often considered to be a “safe” and less expensive place to purchase drugs) may not be there at all!  Although the focus of the FDA article is on prescription drugs, it’s reasonable for American preppers to also want to stockpile over-the-counter drugs as well.  First, let’s take a look at the article I’m talking about.  If you haven’t seen it,  you can find it here:

FDA warns of risks of online pharmacies – USA TODAY

news.google.com (link expired, sorry)

FDA warns of risks of online pharmacies  USA TODAY   “Our goal is to increase awareness,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told the Associated Press, “not to scare people away from online pharmacies. We want them to use appropriate pharmacies. …

 

While the purported reason for warning people away from online pharmacies is NOT to “scare people,” I can’t help but feel that is exactly what they are trying to do.  When you consider the FDA’s  track record of “protecting” people, I am not so sure that this is a source we really want to count on. For example:

FDA expands recall list of tainted drugs as meningitis outbreak grows to 47 cases – Fox News

news.google.com (link expired, sorry)

Examiner.comFDA expands recall list of tainted drugs as meningitis outbreak grows to 47 cases Fox News. Federal health officials have expanded the recall list of potentially contaminated injectable medications suspected in a multi-state meningitis outbr …

 

One might wonder where the FDA was when these drugs were disseminated?  Granted, they weren’t purchased online, but the purpose of the FDA is supposedly to keep this from happening. Here’s another instance:

FDA draws fire over ‘foot dragging’ – The Ledger

news.google.com (link expired, sorry)

FDA draws fire over ‘foot dragging’.  The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, asks the court to declare the FDA’s failure to act unlawful and to order the agency to decide within 30 days of the court’s ruling whether to approve Publ …

Given that the FDA isn’t necessarily a beacon of competence, it’s probably a good idea to read the warnings and then make up your own mind.  If you are stockpiling medicines, particularly prescription medication, you need to be careful to be sure that the online pharmacy you use is reliable.  How to tell?   One place you can look is the NABP Website  (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy)  which has a list of safe, accredited online pharmacies.  Unfortunately, the list is short (only about 3.5% of online pharmacies pass the vetting procedure).  Also check there for the not-recommended list for pharmacies that have shown to be scams.  Unfortunately, that list is quite long.  Other warning signs include pharmacies that:

  • say they will legally dispense drugs without a prescription
  • indicate they have a physician on hand to provide you a prescription without an in-person consultation
  • will dispense unapproved drugs (though one might question the FDA’s competence in approving drugs, given the previous information)
  • are missing a sure-site indicator (usually the site would start with “https://” instead of “http://)
  • do not accept medical insurance
  • do not provide a physical address or a traceable telephone number (this is a really big indicator)


In addition, any pharmacies that are outside the U.S. are considered to be “suspect,” but consider that the main reason for this could be that these pharmacies are not under the supervision and control of the FDA.  So, be careful when you are stockpiling medicines.  Any pharmacy that wouldn’t pass vetting for prescription drugs should also be looked at with a jaundiced eye for over-the-counter medicines as well.

 

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