Buying Medicine Off the Internet: Look Before You Leap

Some of our members are suggesting that buying medication off the internet is the way to get around the Armour Thyroid shortage in the U.S. and elsewhere. Although there are sources of genuine high quality dessicated thyroid available, I am recommending that a thorough investigation be conducted before making an internet purchase of thyroid medication or any medication, for that matter, particularly from less developed nations.

I found this brief item on an Australian Health blog which highlights one potential danger of buying drugs from Thailand on the internet:

A 20-year-old patient was referred for management of anxiety and polydrug misuse. The patient related that anyone could be a misuser and pusher of drugs without relying on illicit suppliers of such drugs or “doctor shopping”. A click of a mouse could supply whatever drug a patient wanted from online pharmacy services available 24 hours a day. These sites are easy to use and often require little more than a credit card number to gain access to a wide range of prescription drugs, such as diazepam, alprazolam, temazepam, methylphenidate, morphine and codeine.
The patient had a 2-year history of using large amounts of zolpidem, temazepam, alprazolam and diazepam with alcohol, as well as regular use of marijuana. These medications were originally obtained by doctor shopping for prescriptions. However, while researching these medications on the Internet, our patient discovered the online pharmacies that dispensed prescription medication without a script. Zolpidem, oxycodone and methylphenidate were all ordered by the patient from online pharmacies based in Mexico and Thailand. He “surfed” the Internet for the site with the cheapest drugs and found one that sold 100 zolpidem, his drug of choice, for US$70.00, with a delivery charge of US$5.50. He was able to order quantities of 100, 200 or 500 tablets. It took 2 weeks for the discreetly packaged drugs to arrive at the patient’s door.
The patient volunteered this information during therapy for drug addiction and was quick to see the negative implications. After a period of counselling about the causes of medication misuse, he was motivated to cease further ordering and willing to undergo drug detoxification.

Although I have been accused by members of this blog of being ignorant for advising extra caution when purchasing drugs on the internet, I stand firm in my opinion that you need to know exactly what is in the pill you are about to swallow.

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  • Carol

    Be careful, and only order what you NEED, absolutely!

    Yet for those of us who require total thyroid replacement, through surgery &/or radioiodine, this may be the ONLY source of the medication you need!

    For myself, and many others, synthetic thyroid hormones are incomplete and simply cause a LOT of problems requiring other medications, and the combination can be dangerous if not deadly – even if given to you by a doctor! Been there, done that! Too much thyroid, then beta blockers to pull down the heart rate, then sleeping pills, then antidepressants, then more meds, as those don’t seem to be working quite right… Nearly killed me twice with the same doctor (I’ll NEVER belong to an HMO again as long as I live, as this doctor thought he could “take care of it” with his VERY minimal knowledge of anything thyroid!)

    Also be aware that much of the medication and vaccines we have in the US are made in India and other 3rd world countries…. (IF you can even call India a 3rd world county any more! They seem to be doing quite well!)

    Money and greed have lead to this practice, and the outcomes are scary! Antibiotics? Not from here! Not many anyhow!

    H1N1? All from India now!

    I have NOTHING against India, in fact its a place where I love the rich culture, the beautiful clothing, the beautiful country, etc., yet it is right next door to Pakistan! guess where the Taliban is thought to be HQed? THAT is why this is scary!

    All it would take is one ill-meaning person to get into a plant, contaminate our medications, and a good portion of us wouldn’t survive the experience!

    Drug addicts will do just about anything to get their drug of choice, and although I’ve seen many ads online for pharmacies, I’ve yet to have contacted a single one that does not REQUIRE a prescription, yep! even for something like Arfa or Armour thyroid, and yes! even in Mexico!

    It makes me wonder how truthful your drug-seeking patient has been with you about where he REALLY got this medication? Any pharmacies in your area, or been outside the area robbed lately? Lots of drugs missing? Seniors with a need for medications missing medications?

    IF it is true that this person wants to turn a 180 and really stop using addictive medications improperly and they are perchance finding these places to get them online somewhere, then ask them to show you where these so-called pharmacies are, and contact the DEA, or better yet, hand them the phone while they are in your office to call the DEA!

    Some of us are just trying to get medications that keep us alive!

    Now THAT is scary!