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:

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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.
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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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