Online Pharmacies

03 Nov: Wyeth v. Levine ruling could be major blow to healthcare consumers

People’s Pharmacy is an excellent syndicated column that you should definitely check out if you aren’t already reading it. If it’s not in your hometown paper, you can find them online here. The writers, Joe and Terry Graedon, have been impassioned advocates for healthcare consumers for more than 30 years. (Here’s what the Graedons have to say about Canadian pharmacies, by the way: “The FDA won’t admit it, but buying drugs from legitimate Canadian pharmacies may be safer than buying from the drugstore down the block.”} I bring up the Graedons because their column recently reminded me about a very important issue that had fallen off my radar screen. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments…

27 Oct: Study: Prescription drugs cost more in poor neighborhoods

  One of the biggest advantages of shopping for prescription drugs online is price transparency, which empowers the consumer to easily find the best price among available options. As healthcare consumers well know, it is very difficult to comparison shop among brick-and-mortar pharmacies, because pharmacies typically don’t advertise their prices for prescription drugs (with the exception of the Wal-Mart generic drug program and similar programs, which generally include a list of covered drugs on the retailer’s Web site.) Because it’s difficult to compare prices, particularly for expensive, brand-name drugs, most consumers buy at their corner drugstore, assuming the price isn’t much different from the next corner — or the other side of town. This simply isn’t the case. What’s worse,…

10 Oct: ABC News: Beware of prescription savings clubs

There are a number of good, money-saving prescription drug card programs out there, which eDrugSearch.com will tell you about in our upcoming e-book. But there are also some scams out there — which ABC investigated in this report. An excerpt: More than 45 million Americans do not have prescription drug insurance. And some have turned to online prescription drug service companies that offer help getting prescription drugs inexpensively in exchange for a fee. Online companies promoting cheap prescription drugs may be misleading… Without insurance, Andrea [Melnick] was left to try and get pricey epilepsy medications, which cost up to $800 a month, on her own. Andrea looked for help online and found a company called Select Care Benefits Network. “It…

10 Oct: It’s time to put an end to our “prescription drug culture”

I stumbled across this while reading Gawker: “Teen socialite” Peaches Geldof says the staff at the fashion magazine Nylon prefer prescription drugs over illegal drugs — What’s the drug of choice at Nylon? “Klonopin” Peaches was definitely the talky one. Why? It’s just a very large prescription drug culture… This confirms our highly anecdotal evidence of Klonopin as a mini-trend for the creative underclass, maybe better than Xanax — not that our shrink is offering to prescribe us any despite repeated inquiries. Klonopin, classified as a “sedative-hypnotic,” is prescribed for epilepsy, panic and anxiety disorders, restless legs syndrome and other medical conditions. Unfortunately, such drugs are too easily obtained by young people, who often start taking them by raiding their…

08 Oct: It’s not just the elderly who can’t afford prescription drugs

  Those who would minimize the crisis that is the U.S. healthcare system would have you believe, among other things, that the problem of high-priced prescription drugs mostly affects the elderly — who supposedly have gotten the relief they need from Medicare Part D and a multitude of state programs. This is simply not the case. The Los Angeles Times reports on a pharmacy benefit manager’s study that states: …nearly 70 percent of adults aged 25-34 claim the economic downturn of the last 12 months has made it somewhat or significantly more difficult to pay for health care expenses … Overall, three out of four people are concerned about the cost of health care… The Times speculates as to the…

30 Sep: Update on the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection

Alex Sicre, who I follow on Twitter, sent me a note to remind me that H.R. 6353 had passed in the House of Representatives last week. It was received in the Senate last Thursday and is expected to pass there as well. In the face of Congress’ apparent bumbling of the $700 billion financial bailout package, I’m glad to know that something useful can still emerge from the lawmaking process. H.R. 6353 is named for Ryan Haight, who died of an overdose of Vicodin after ordering the pills over the Internet without a prescription. (You can read more about Ryan here.) You can read the full text of the legislation here; here’s a summary of its provisions: Amends the Controlled…

25 Sep: Mommy bloggers offer money-saving tips on prescription drugs

Leave it to some excellent “mommy bloggers” to come up with tips on saving on prescription drugs that I was unaware of. Freebies 4 Mom reports on Publix and Meijer offering free antibiotics: “Free prescription drugs? Did you know that some supermarket/drugstore chains have started offering this free public service recently? Noelle inspired me to start writing this post, she wrote this: ‘I am a mom of 2mo twins and three year old! I love Freebies 4 Mom and check the site EVERY day and enjoy getting fun stuff in the mail that benefits my family. THANK YOU! I live in Florida and Publix supermarkets offers free antibiotics at any time. I just got my free amoxicillin for my daughters…

10 Sep: New McCain commercial: “He took on the drug industry”

Some specific supporting examples provided in a press release: In 2004, John McCain Co-Sponsored Bipartisan Drug Reimportation Legislation. “At a press conference today, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) introduced breakthrough bipartisan, consensus prescription drug reimportation legislation, the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act, with Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), John McCain (R-AZ), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Trent Lott (R-MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).” (Sen. Olympia Snowe, Press Release, 4/21/04) A John McCain Bill To Make It Easier For Cheap Generic Drugs To Come Onto The Market Drew “Strong Opposition From The Pharmaceutical Industry.” “The most public front was active last week, with the Senate passing a bill intended to make it easier for cheap generic drugs to come…

Rogue Online Pharmacies - LegitScripts.com

05 Sep: Are All Canadian Pharmacies “Rogue” Online Pharmacies? LegitScript Thinks So.

While reading Benjamin Gluck’s Internet Pharmacy Law blog, I came across a reference to an “Internet pharmacy verification and information service” I hadn’t yet heard of: LegitScript. I like the professed mission of LegitScript: to improve online pharmacy safety by offering a database that allows consumers to enter a pharmacy’s name and find out whether it’s legitimate or not. LegitScript apparently intends to make money by providing a verification seal to online pharmacies that meet its standards. I say “apparently” because LegitScript verification is currently provided free of charge. All of which sounds fine — until you look a little closer. You see, LegitScript claims ALL Canadian pharmacies are unsafe. Even the most established, reputable pharmacies — licensed and inspected…

04 Sep: Comparison shopping for prescription drugs saves big bucks

From CNBC: “A national price study conducted by Consumer Reports and led by Tod Marks showed just how widely prices can vary on the same drugs in pharmacies throughout the country. The survey found that the prices of four particular prescription drugs can vary by as much as $340, and up to $100 even within individual chains of stores! Of all the drug-store chains, Costco proved to be the cheapest, Marks said.” That’s a huge variation in pricing. It reflects the fact that U.S.consumers are not accustomed to comparison shopping for prescription drugs — and drugstores certainly don’t make it easy to do so. Believe me, if consumers routinely shopped around when buying drugs, you’d see a leveling of pricing…

03 Sep: 10 tips for saving money on prescription drugs

eDrugSearch.com will soon be releasing our first e-book, 99 Ways to Save Money on Prescription Drugs. To whet your appetite, here are 10 ways to save, courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (who interviewed Dr. Edward Jardini and Steven Findlay, managing editor of Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs, for their story): 1. Start with a heart-to-heart with your doctor Tell him or her, honestly, how much you can afford to spend on medication … In the end, you may find you just don’t need some of the drugs you’re taking. 2. Ask about generics. These are usually much, much cheaper than brand-name drugs, says Steven Findlay … The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, he says, is a good example. It costs $95…

27 Aug: Forbes throws out the baby with the bath water

The first six words of Andy Greenberg’s Tuesday story in Forbes are about all I needed to read: “In the shady world of online pharmacies…” Oh boy — here we go again. Hey, I know there are a lot of rogue pharmacies out there. That’s why I started eDrugSearch.com — to help people avoid rogue online pharmacies. But there are licensed, legitimate online pharmacies out there, too — and it’s not fair to consumers to scare them away from the Internet as an avenue for purchasing prescription drugs. If you know what you’re doing, it’s relatively easy to be safe when you buy prescription drugs online. Here are two ways: 1. Use eDrugSearch.com, which only permits prescreened, licensed online and…

25 Aug: Lies about the safety of Canadian drugs

Chris Rice at OpEdNews is boiling mad about corrupting lobbyists and duplicitous politicians who have made it difficult for U.S. residents to buy drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Here’s an excerpt from his column: LIE: The Bush administration is fighting importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada by claiming they are unsafe and thereby protecting pharmaceutical companies who have given over $74 billion (or $2,033 per hour) [in contributions] since 2000. FACT: HHS and FDA officials cannot identify a single American injured as a result drugs purchased from licensed Canadian pharmacies. One of the nation’s leading health experts stated the administration’s argument was “hogwash” since “drugs purchased through the Canadian health care system are every bit as safe as those available…

20 Aug: Survey: Teens who abuse prescription drugs don’t buy them online

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), last week issued a fascinating survey of teens. Two results stood out to me: 1. Teens (aged 12 to 17) indicated, for the first time, that it is easier to acquire “prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin or Ritalin, without a prescription” than it is to buy beer. 2. While Internet pharmacies have been widely blamed for the increase in prescription drug abuse, few of the teens surveyed say that the drug abusers acquire their drugs from online pharmacies. That’s right. Here’s what CASA’s press release says: When teens who know prescription drug abusers were asked where those kids get their drugs: 31 percent said from friends…

08 Aug: 70 illegal Internet pharmacy Web sites shut down in sting

Medical Web Services, an Internet pharmacy operation that ran 70 illegal internet pharmacy Web sites, was busted this week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa — and the feds are seeking $41 million in proceeds from the alleged rogue internet pharmacy operation. What were these Web sites doing illegally? Allegedly, they were distributing Schedule III and Schedule IV substances via online questionnaires. According to the indictment, which named six participants in the operation: Internet customers logged onto one of the domain names owned, operated, hosted, or linked to Medical Web Services and placed orders for prescription drugs. The customers completed a short health history questionnaire and provided credit card payment information. The customers’ identities were not verified, nor were customers required to…

31 Jul: How do you cope with escalating drug costs?

The Orange County Register is asking its readers what strategies they use to keep drug expenditures down: “The soaring costs of prescription drugs have led some health plans to require mail-order prescriptions or limit what medications are covered. The Register wants to hear how readers have coped with changes to their prescription drug benefits and escalating costs. Have you found creative ways to save costs? Have you skipped a medication against doctor’s orders? Do you ration your pills so your supply lasts longer?” We encourage you to tell your story to Register health reporter Courtney Perkes at cperkes@ocregister.com.

29 Jul: Follow eDrugSearch.com on Twitter

We’ve started a Twitter account and would love for you to follow us. If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s a social network built around a kind of mini-blogging or group IM tool that allows you to leave messages of up to 140 characters. Some of our favorite bloggers like John Mack, Jack Friday and Matthew Holt are already using it, so we thought we’d try it out, too. You can follow us here: https://twitter.com/carybyrd

23 Jul: Florida Times-Union credits eDrugSearch.com in editorial

The Florida Times-Union, the newspaper of Jacksonville, FL, published an editorial today headlined, “Internet Pharmacies: A prescription for death.” We’re not crazy about that headline, as you might imagine. We’ve worked very hard to get the news media to distinguish legitimate, licensed Canadian pharmacies from dangerous, rogue online pharmacies in their coverage. But you know how it is. In any case, we were pleased that the Times-Union’s editorial used one of our blog posts to illustrate the seriousness of the problem of prescription drug abuse. The relevant excerpt: Most people know that Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe both died from an overdose of prescription drugs. Judy Garland also succumbed to a prescription drug overdose – as did Howard Hughes and…

23 Jul: Big Pharma steps up disinformation campaign against drug reimportation

You might think Big Pharma would give up its longstanding fight against Canadian pharmacy drug reimportation — now that both John McCain and Barack Obama vocally support it (not to mention 80 percent of the American public). You’d be wrong. As it turns out, Big Pharma believes it has a trump card in its bid to maintain its inflated drug profits by keeping out competition from abroad. That trump card: the incompetence of the FDA. The argument is outlined in this op-ed piece by Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, which is funded by Big Pharma among other sources. Says Pitts: Several lawmakers have proposed allowing Americans to buy drugs from abroad. Since many…

15 Jul: 85 percent of online pharmacies do not require a prescription

A new report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) underscores the results of other recent online pharmacy studies — showing that’s it’s too easy to buy prescription drugs, including controlled substances, without a prescription online. Only 15 percent of 365 sites examined in the study required a prescription. According to Reuters, CASA recommends that the United States negotiate treaties with other governments to shut down illegal Internet trafficking of prescription drugs. In April, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that included tougher regulation for online pharmacies — but the legislation is still awaiting action in the House. You can download the CASA report here. And if you’re looking for a legitimate, online pharmacies,…

06 Jul: Going broke because of high prescription drug costs

This video report from the Associated Press is truly disturbing, telling the story of a family forced to declare bankruptcy because of the high prescription drug costs of treating their son’s autism. The family had health insurance, too — but it wasn’t enough to cover the child’s exorbitant treatment and drug costs. Watch it: And remember to always use eDrugSearch.com to freely compare prescription drug prices to ensure you get safe access to affordable medications, guaranteed.

30 Jun: eDrugSearch.com tops 100,000 drug listings

We’re very proud to have upgraded our free drug search – comparison shopping engine to now include more than 100,000 real-time drug listings from our 36 member pharmacies. That’s up from 30,000 listings when we launched in January 2007. Two big reasons for the increase: we’ve added more pharmacies, and we’ve updated our backend to make it much easier for member pharmacies to include their full inventories in our database. Read more about this achievement in our press release.

29 Jun: Woman arrested for filling 200 fake prescriptions

  With all the talk of the dangers of online and mail-order pharmacies in the media these days, it’s important to remind ourselves that when people are determined to do the wrong thing, they’ll do it with or without the Internet’s help. I came across a great example of this in the news the other day, where in Prichard, Alabama, police arrested a man and woman for running a drug ring selling prescription drugs illegally. How did the woman — Angela Hurst, 28 — build her supply? By ordering them from a rogue pharmacy online? Nope. Here’s the story (italics mine): Narcotics officers say Hurst called in at least 200 hundred fake prescriptions to area drug stores. Hurst was allowed…

26 Jun: Five reasons to choose eDrugSearch.com when buying drugs online

The following stats come from a new study of Internet pharmacies by the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, as reported by the National Center for Policy Analysis: 1. 62 percent of medicines bought online are fakes. 2. 96 percent of the virtual pharmacies under study operate illegally. 3. 90 percent of Web sites supply prescription-only drugs without a prescription. 4. 94 percent of Web sites do not have a pharmacist identified on the site. 5. 86 percent of online pharmacy approval stamps are fraudulent. Sounds like identifying a quality online pharmacy is like finding a needle in a haystack, doesn’t it? Fortunately, you don’t have to look — because eDrugSearch.com prescreens online pharmacies from the U.S., Canada and…

26 Jun: Go Daddy appeals to Congress again — this time with its clothes on

The last time we heard about the Web host Go Daddy going before Congress, it was the fictional Nikki Cappelli (model Candice Michelle) in one of Go Daddy’s infamous Super Bowl commercials. In the ad, Cappelli’s tank top strap breaks as she appears before a committee discussing censorship. Well now, Go Daddy has headed to Washington for real — and for a good cause. As Web Host Industry Review reports: Go Daddy is urging the US Congress to accept legislation to stop online pharmacies from selling controlled drugs without a valid prescription … Having considerable clout as the world’s largest registrar, Go Daddy sent general counsel Christine Jones to Washington, D.C. where she testified to Members of the House Judiciary…

18 Jun: Are illegal online prescription drug sales financing computer network?

Much of the spam in your e-mail inbox, and as much as 10 percent of malware on Microsoft Windows computers, is generated by the “Storm botnet,” a remotely controlled network of zombie computers running on as many as 50 million computer systems worldwide. The Storm botnet was only identified early last year, and the FBI has had little luck so far in tracking its origins or creators. But we’ve apparently learned one thing: Prescription drug spammers are bankrolling the Storm botnet’s growth. According to Tim Wilson at Dark Reading, reporting on a study by IronPort, Cisco’s e-mail security unit: More than 80 percent of Storm botnet spam advertises online pharmacy brands. This spam is sent by millions of consumers’ PCs,…

18 Jun: Over 11,000 “Canadian pharmacies” on the Internet are fake

Here’s a scary statistic: Only a few hundred of the more than 11,000 Internet pharmacies advertising themselves as Canadian pharmacies are actually licensed by government authorities in Canada. The rest are frauds — often not located in Canada or licensed by any government entity. Making matters worse, many of these fake pharmacies claim to be licensed — even cutting and pasting the seals from government agencies and accrediting organizations on their sites. You can be assured that the Canadian pharmacies in our drug search engine are properly licensed and accredited. Our members also rate and review the pharmacies based on their experiences. So don’t take any chances when you buy drugs online from Canada. Use eDrugSearch.com.

14 Jun: 72 million Americans now either uninsured or underinsured

Think Progress reports that a new study from the Commonwealth Fund shows that the number of Americans forced to pay high medical expenses has grown dramatically since 2003: The report found that 25 million working-age Americans were underinsured last year, up 16 percent from 2003. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, family premiums have jumped 78 percent since 2001, while wages have only risen 19 percent, barely keeping pace with inflation. Add that 25 million underinsured to the approximately 47 million Americans with no health insurance at all, and we now have about 72 million who are struggling — and often one calamity away from losing everything. When people are underinsured, high-priced prescription drugs are typically something that are out…

12 Jun: If pills haven’t fixed your ED, it is time to consider alternatives

Millions of dollars in direct-to-consumer advertising by big pharmaceutical companies have ensured that most Americans are familiar with the “Little Blue Pill” — Viagra — as well as with competing products Cialis and Levitra. These drugs, called phosphodiesterase inhibitors, enhance the effects of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow to enable an erection to occur with proper stimulation. There are differences among the three medications, but they are relatively minor. Viagra came on the scene first, so it’s helped more people and has a longer track record. Levitra begins working the fastest, and Cialis lasts the longest — up to 36 hours, compared to four for Viagra. Often, a doctor might prescribe…

09 Jun: To end prescription drug abuse, we must take on “doctor shopping”

Obviously, a lot has been said and written linking Internet pharmacies to prescription drug abuse. But prescription drug abuse occurs every day without the Internet being involved at all. In most cases, in fact, abusers are prescribed their meds by a doctor and pick them up at the corner pharmacy. How does this happen? Shouldn’t physicians know when they’ve overprescribed a potentially dangerous drug to a patient? Yes, an individual doctor should know. But most prescription drug abusers don’t just go to one doctor. They go to several. It’s called “doctor shopping.” Actor Heath Ledger didn’t die from ordering drugs over the Internet. He died because he ordered too many drugs from too many different doctors. No one doctor would…

08 Jun: Avoid fake meds; shop at licensed pharmacies

Here’s a disturbing news report on the growing problem of counterfeit prescription medications, often sold through organized crime syndicates in Third World countries: How do you protect yourself against fake meds when you buy drugs online? Make sure the pharmacy you choose is properly licensed and accredited, like the Canadian pharmacies in the eDrugSearch.com system. All pharmacies in our database must pass a 10-point test to become part of our system. If you choose to work with a pharmacy outside our system, please make sure to follow these safety tips.

05 Jun: Antidepressant medications are the most searched drug brands online

Consumers search for antidepressant medications online more than any other class of drug, according to data from comScore. In a recent study of 500,000 search queries, five of the 15 most frequently searched prescription brands were for depression. This is in keeping with our own search results at eDrugSearch.com. Here are those five antidepressant medications — in order of searches: Compare Lexapro prices Compare Effexor prices Compare Cymbalta prices Compare Prozac prices Compare Paxil prices So, which antidepressant medication are right for you? In addition to consulting your physician, here are two helpful resources: The Mayo Clinic offers an excellent overview of your options and considerations in making a decision. Dinah at Shrink Rap, a blog by psychiatrists, explains how she…

05 Jun: eDrugSearch.com featured on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet

If you read this blog regularly, you know that eDrugSearch.com is an impassioned advocate for licensed Canadian pharmacies — and the American citizens who choose to use them. We work hard to educate consumers on how to stay safe when ordering medications over the Internet. In fact, it’s why we created this site in the first place. This past Monday, we were invited to be part of a panel on the topic of online pharmacy safety on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, a nationally syndicated TV program. Scott Baradell spoke on our company’s behalf. Here’s a video excerpt:

22 May: Don’t blame the Internet for prescription drug abuse

Yeah, I know; I’ve written about this topic before — more than a few times. But I feel compelled to do so again. Frankly, I’m mad as heck and I can’t take it any more. Just as there have been past hysterias blaming the Internet for sexual predators, pornography, political polarization, celebrity obsession, obesity (go outside and play!) and every other social malady facing our nation, now it seems the media is whipping itself into a frenzy over the dangers of Internet pharmacies for prescription drug abuse. The latest blog post I flagged on this topic, “Internet Pharmacy Websites the New Drug Dealers,” referenced a sad tale on CNN.com headlined, “My husband died from online drugs.” Don’t get me wrong….

12 May: eDrugSearch.com survey: Help us improve our SERPs!

We are in the process of updating our Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) based on community feedback, and I am enlisting your help as we prepare to incorporate a number of enhancements. I encourage all eDrugSearch.com visitors — including comparison shoppers, community participants and our blogger friends — to complete the following brief survey, which asks you to compare two potential SERP updates. The poll will run until Sunday, May 18. Here are instructions for completing the survey: Open Sample SERP Version 2 in a new window on your browser. Open Sample SERP Version 3 in a second new window. In your original window, click here to take the survey. As you answer the survey questions, keep in mind that…

30 Apr: Do I have a chip on my shoulder? Maybe a little bit…

The Texas Startup Blog was kind enough to run a post by me on what it’s like to be a Health 2.0 startup from South Texas. Here’s an excerpt: “I live in Spring Branch, Texas — not Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley or even Austin. I don’t particularly like small talk, about Web 2.0 or anything else. I haven’t prepared a PowerPoint deck full of made-up numbers showing my company’s path to $100 million in three years. I’ve self-funded my company rather than seeking VC funding — which means I don’t have to play the BS game and, more importantly, can build my business without interference. “The result of all this is that, to some people, my startup and I are…

28 Apr: eDrugSearch.com: crunching the numbers

From the press release we distributed this morning: eDrugSearch.com, the Health 2.0 social network and comparison shopping site for prescription drug consumers, announced today that it has generated more than $2.1 million in sales for member pharmacies through 875,000 visitor referrals from its comparison shopping engine. This includes an estimated $435,000 in March, based on 175,000 referrals to member sites. “eDrugSearch.com has established itself as one of the Web’s fastest-growing vertical search engines and comparison shopping sites since our launch last year,” said Cary Byrd, president and founder of eDrugSearch.com. “Our visitors know they can trust the quality and service of the pharmacies in our database — and trust us to deliver lower prices on prescription medications than they can…