Texans order prescription drugs online from Canadian pharmacies in an effort to save money, however they may be putting themselves at risk.
According to the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, approximately 68,000 people in Texas order more than 200,000 drug shipments from Canadian pharmacies, reports the Dallas Morning-News.
Potentially cheaper drugs may also be riskier, according to Pat Ford, a former FBI agent who now runs Pfizer’s investigative unit.
“My concern is safety, and buying online is unsafe,” he told the news source. “It’s like playing Russian roulette.” Ford said that counterfeit drug makers are skilled at making their phony products look authentic, hiding such ingredients as boric acid, brick dust, road paint, arsenic and floor wax in benign-looking pills.
He said that online pharmacies aren’t aware of where their products are coming from.
“An online pharmacist is going to buy their product from anywhere,” Ford said.
Ford added that many drugs ordered from Canadian pharmacies do not actually come from Canada but are sent from other countries. Illegal Canadian pharmacies have been the target of law enforcement efforts in recent years.
This past summer a Canadian man was sentenced by an Arizona Judge to 33 months in jail for selling counterfeit drugs to unsuspecting cancer patients. In the case, Hazim Gaber allegedly tried to pass off white powder as an experimental cancer drug and was able to dupe at least 65 cancer sufferers into ordering the phony medication from his illegal online pharmacy.
Americans can be sure they are getting authentic medications when they purchase their prescription drugs from a licensed brick-and-mortar pharmacy or from online pharmacies that have been certified by the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, or VIPPS, program. Online pharmacy verifier, legitscript.com is available for consumers to verify the authenticity of their pharmacy.