US Patients Turn To Online Pharmacies For Cheap Meds

Suzan Roll, a retired interior designer who lives in Palm City, Florida, has been ordering medicines online since her husband needed a prescription medicine for a heart condition about seven years ago. She has ordered half a dozen medicines for herself, her husband and her son since then. She purchased an estrogen ring that would have cost her $240 through Medicare for only $79 on a website. When her son needed Lexapro, an antidepressant, she bought it for around $40 online instead of paying $125 at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy…

But in many cases the drugs that patients purchase online are the real thing, only far cheaper. Virtually everyone agrees that consumers should avoid purchasing from online pharmacies that are “rogue” and wholly unlicensed. But others are fully licensed to sell medicines in other countries and have been certified or verified by groups that monitor online pharmacies…

To settle the score, researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research ordered 365 prescription drugs from online pharmacies in 2012 and tested the samples for legitimacy. They divided their orders equally between three groups of websites: U.S.-based pharmacies certified through VIPPS or by; pharmacies that were not certified by LegitScript or VIPPS but which were certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association or PharmacyChecker; and pharmacies that were not certified by any of these agencies.

All the medicines obtained from any type of certified pharmacy proved legitimate, but that those that were certified by CIPA or PharmacyChecker were half as expensive as the drugs ordered from U.S.-based outlets certified by VIPPS or…

Several members of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies are pharmaceutical companies that would like to prohibit cheap shipments of drugs from overseas, including Eli Lilly and Company, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Amgen and Boehringer Ingelheim. The group also represents American brick-and-mortar pharmacists including members of the American Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. The Partnership for Safe Medicines, which runs similar consumer awareness campaigns against online pharmacies, has board members from Merck and PhRMA, a drug industry group…

These industries have also convinced other companies to join the cause – today, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google permit only online pharmacies accredited through VIPPS to advertise in the U.S. Credit card companies including Visa have also started to decline payments to online pharmacies that are not VIPPS-certified – as Roll discovered when she tried to place her most recent order…

To have access to certain prescription medications, I’m sure that many chronic pain patients have purchased drugs over the internet.  I admit there was a time when I did, and although purchasing drugs not covered by insurance is expensive, I didn’t have a problem with the drugs not working. However, this was a long time ago, and I know the U.S. Postal Service is working with the DEA to intercept these kinds of packages.

There are a lot of risks involved in purchasing drugs on the internet, but when you’re just trying to survive, sometimes you’re willing to take those risks.  Ya’ll be careful out there…

9 thoughts on “US Patients Turn To Online Pharmacies For Cheap Meds

  1. i have ordered at online pharmacies in the past when having difficulties between medicare and medicaid getting me a list of docs who could be covered under both insurances. for about 9 mos, i had no doc and no rx’s.

    i ordered lithium and seroquel and celexa, several times, without a rx. i got my meds in a timely manner, and they worked, and it was affordable enough that i could do it almost a year. but for constant long term use, it would have become too expensive.

    i believe that we should be allowed to view all online med sites and choose our own. google or yahoo should not be limiting what we view and ultimately choose. if you are willing to self pay, then you should be able to choose where you buy. if you are planning on using your insurance, then you have to buy from where it tells you to go.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Insurance can get expensive! They take out close to $400 from my check every month. I guess it could be worse because this also covers my son. I’ve read that a lot of the meds you order online come from different countries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Medicare takes a little over $100 every month from my disability check. I think there’s about $140 yearly deductible, and then you have to pay a 20% co-pay for doctor visits. Then there’s Medicare Part D, just prescriptions, which is about $35 every month, at least for this year. How’s your deductibles and co-pays?


      • They’ve gone up. My deductible is $1500 and the co-pay is $75. It used to be $25 to $35. The hospital ER is $150. I had surgery 4 years ago and it was $40 k. I had to pay about $5k out of my pocket. Thankfully we don’t get sick that much. I just have to go get that wonderful yearly exam and my son maybe gets sick once or twice a year. I guess it isn’t that bad because we also have dental and vision. I wear glasses for driving :/. I used to have a flexible spending account for everything medical but I didn’t sign up for it this year. All these costs go up every year though.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I had gallbladder surgery a couple of years ago, and I don’t remember how much it ended up costing me, but it was a lot. I kept getting bill after bill, from different doctors and labs, and I thought they would never stop coming.


  3. the only exception to the costs of medicare are if you are under the federal poverty line, at which point you then qualify not only for Medicare (primary insurance), but also for your state’s Medicaid program (secondary insurance). When this happens, Medicaid will pay your Medicare premium every month, your deductible is automatically met at the start of the year, and any coinsurances/copays are also covered my Medicaid, making your Medicare insurance completely cost free for you. In addition, the Medicaid coverage has some benefits Medicare doesn’t as Medicare also has some that Medicaid doesn’t, such as Medicaid will also cover transportation to all medical appointments and psychiatric ones (although depending on the state you live in, you may have to get it directly from your mental health provider rather than the insurance itself offering it, which is how medical cabs are arranged). The costs to have Medicaid normally are income-based and usually not for single adults, altho there are exceptions. Nonetheless, the cost per month is very low if you do have to pay at all. Most enrollees pay $0/ mo for Medicaid.

    When you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, you have full coverage, plus some extras from each, and you pay nothing except for small drug co-pays, never over $6.60 (unless not covered by either insurance). Additionally, there are other classifications of dual eligibility, where in in each case you pay slightly more and have slightly less coverage as your income would increase. There is QMB which is very similar to what I have described as full dual eligible, but you do not get a few things covered my Medicaid. Then there is the other categories

    sorry this was such a ramble…just wanted to shed some light on the dual eligible as many folk don’t know it exists. and don’t know to apply for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t apologize for educating us, K. Are there two different poverty lines? Like, one for federal and one for each state? I’ve heard good things about the Medicaid program here in New Mexico, and it seems like those on Medicaid have better benefits than those of us on Medicare only.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am going to digress a bit. Since the war on drugs has now a war on pain and anxiety doctors, hence being afraid of losing there license or being arrested have had to stop rxing to pain and anxiety patients. Some pain and anxiety patients have turned to online pharmacies. The prices for these type of medications is outrageously expensive. Mainly because they become gray or illegal markets. Actually anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines causes more suffering and more deaths in withdrawal than Heroin withdrawal. And since the war on drugs has now got its tentacles in the doctor patient relationship, Draconian laws have made a ham fisted approach against all prescribers and patients who are not drug dealers nor drug fiends and use there drugs appropriatly, but since law enforcement and the governement have lumped legitimate prescribers and patients in with drug dealers and addicts, the latter suffer. The rise of laws against legitimate doctors and patients have lead to an increase in suicide for pain relief. this is outrageously immoral, nay more it is planned so the banksters can get more money from the drug cartels because people turn to cheaper heroin. You lily white hypocrites in power make me want to puke in your face. My aunt killed herself after she was cut off her opioids. god rest her and give alleviation to her poor suffering soul.

    Liked by 1 person

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