Online Pharmacies

08 Apr: How do you know you can trust an online retailer?

eDrugSearch.com was founded on the premise that it can be difficult to know which online retailers you can trust — particularly when the product is prescription medications, and you are comparison shopping for the best price. It’s not worth saving a few dollars (or even a lot of dollars) to risk being ripped off or, worse, being sold a bad product. The stakes are higher with prescription drugs than most other products purchased online, obviously. We’re talking about your health and safety, not just losing your money. That’s why our comparison shopping engine only includes pharmacies that follow our 10 Commandments. When you shop at eDrugSearch.com, you know you’re not only getting good bargains — you’re also getting them from…

02 Apr: Top 25 prescription drug searches for March 2008

Here are the top 25 prescription drug searches on eDrugSearch.com for the month of March, including searches for both medications and medical conditions, starting with the most popular search. eDrugSearch.com visitors have conducted more than five million searches since our launch in January 2007. Viagra Vytorin Glucophage Cialis Synthroid Fosamax Finasteride Amoxicillin Lotrel Wellbutrin Lipitor Levitra Naproxen Singulair Loestrin Valtrex Yasmin Ibuprofen Quetiapine Allegra Lamisil Alendronate Plavix Bactrim Nardil

21 Mar: Online prescription drugs: To buy or not to buy?

Here’s a nice video from Employment Crossing with tips on buying prescription drugs online. The one caveat we would add is that the FDA should not be your be-all-and-end-all in determining how, where and what to purchase online. It’s one data point to consider, but as we’ve shown time and again, it is a flawed one.

17 Mar: The FDA can’t protect you; this is why you need to protect yourself

In an article today excoriating the FDA for its regulation of prescription drugs, the New York Times reports: The Institute of Medicine, the Government Accountability Office and the F.D.A.’s own Science Board have all issued reports saying poor management and scientific inadequacies make the agency incapable of protecting the country against unsafe drugs, medical devices and food. Indeed, in the years since the last China drug scandal [in 1999], the share of drugs coming from that country has soared while the F.D.A.’s inspections of overseas drug plants have dropped. There are 566 plants in China that export drugs to the United States, but the agency inspected just 13 of them last year. The agency does not have the money to…

28 Feb: eDrugSearch.com Online Health Community in Pharma Marketing News

John Mack is The Mack, as far as covering the world of pharmaceutical marketing goes. So we’re honored that John decided to profile the eDrugSearch.com Community in the February 2008 edition of Pharma Marketing News. The story is called “Prescription Drugs and the Health 2.0 Opportunity; the pdf here provides more detailed coverage. In talking with John for the story, I told him that we hope our new community will attract pharma marketers who want to learn more about what consumers are talking about today. Who knows — maybe a few drug reps and others will join in the fun, although John isn’t optimistic about this prospect. He writes: Much as pharmaceutical marketers may wish to engage consumers in discussion…

17 Jan: Top 25 prescription medication searches for December 2007

Here are the top 25 drug price searches on eDrugSearch.com for the month of December: Accupril prices Nexium prices Viagra prices Combivent prices Acyclovir prices Prozac prices Propecia prices Actos prices Yasmin prices Plavix prices Lipitor prices Crestor prices Levitra prices Synthroid prices Azithromycin prices Valtrex prices Topamax prices Vytorin prices Remeron prices Xenical prices Imitrex prices Levaquin prices Byetta prices Celebrex prices Strattera prices As we state each month, the list isn’t a perfect reflection of the most popular drugs purchased online, largely because of Google. For a variety of reasons, eDrugSearch.com  appears very high in the organic search results for some drugs, but not as high for others. This obviously skews our results. With this caveat, however, we…

16 Jan: Is Bud Selig going to pin the blame for baseball’s steroid problem?

This is truly ridiculous. Bud Selig has done NOTHING to stem the flow of ILLEGAL steroids into the asses of Major League Baseball players for the past 20 years — and now he’s blaming the problem on INTERNET PHARMACIES? Are you kidding me? Here’s the story on CNET, headlined, Baseball chief invites stiffer online-pharmacy laws. I would really like to go into a full-scale rant right now — but I am almost too verklempt to apply fingers to keyboard. Online pharmacies are such a whipping boy today (thanks to the lobbying $$$ of Big Pharma) that even Selig sees them as a scapegoat for his own completely incompetent handling of the steroids issue. Unbelievable.

01 Dec: Michigan officials promote lower prescription drug prices

The Michigan Department of Community Health last year created a Web site, MichiganDrugPrices.com, to help the state’s residents find lower prices on prescription medications. Quantcast offers some interesting summary data on the site’s users since the 2006 launch: This site reaches approximately 67,524 U.S. monthly uniques. The site is popular among a heavily female, 55+, mostly Caucasian audience. Site users have an affinity for CanadaDrugs.com. Now, from looking at Quantcast’s “data” on my site and others, I know that the site’s information can be wildly inaccurate — our own site traffic is several times greater than Quantcast reports, although I don’t know that it’s worth the trouble of correcting them and giving them proprietary information from our servers. So take…

25 Nov: Abilify: No. 1 and climbing

The most searched-for drug on www.eDrugSearch.com for the past two months has been Abilify, which treats the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Initially approved in November 2002, more than 12.5 million prescriptions have been written for Abilify in the United States as of June 2007. Expect those numbers to continue climbing. Last week, the FDA approved the drug as an add-on treatment for adults with major depressive disorder. The drug is to be used in conjunction with commonly prescribed depression drugs, including the SSRIs Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil CR, and Zoloft.

24 Nov: Top 25 prescription drug searches for October 2007

Here are the top 25 drug price searches on eDrugSearch.com for the month of October: Abilify prices Vagifem prices Yasmin prices Lipitor prices Zyprexa prices Synthroid prices Simvastatin Vytorin prices Viagra prices Wellbutrin prices Actos prices Lamisil prices Zoloft prices Crestor prices Levitra prices Plavix prices Strattera prices Zetia prices Avandia prices Xenical prices Celexa prices Topamax prices Cialis prices Prevacid prices Flovent prices The list isn’t a perfect reflection of the most popular drugs purchased online, largely because of Google. For a variety of reasons, eDrugSearch.com appears very high in the organic search results for some drugs, but not as high for others. This obviously skews our results. With this caveat, however, we hope that over time our results…

05 Nov: The hypocrisy of drug re-importation laws, continued…

Sooooo… the FDA says it doesn’t inspect drugs imported from China and India (and sold through U.S. pharmacies) for safety. Did you know that almost 80 percent of the active ingredients in prescription drugs sold in the U.S. come from these countries? And yet, the FDA still wastes its time with the “issue” of U.S. consumers buying drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies. Something doesn’t quite add up, does it? Watch the Lou Dobbs report:

11 Aug: The drug rep’s moral dilemma

  We stumbled across a kind of soap opera/game show called “Moral Dilemmas” on a site called BustedHalo.com and thought we’d share it, since it involves a pharma rep. Basically, the idea is to tell a story that sets up a moral dilemma, and then let visitors to the site debate what the character should do in the situation described. Here’s an excerpt from the episode, “The Drummer and the Drug Rep”: Kara landed a good job as a drug representative for a large pharmaceutical company … recently much of Kara’s job has involved educating doctors on a new anti-depressant her company has developed called Serotonix. The drug is very similar to existing medications like Prozac and Zoloft in that…

07 Aug: Half of U.S. pharmacies no habla Espanol

From HealthDay News: Nearly half of America’s pharmacies are unable to communicate with, or provide information to, non-English-speaking clients. That means as many as 168 million of the 4 billion prescriptions written each year could be going to patients who aren’t able to fully understand the information provided, putting them at risk of potentially harmful medication errors, a new study finds… The research, published in the August issue of Pediatrics, was led by Dr. Glenn Flores, professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas… Of the 128 pharmacies that responded to the survey, 53 percent could mostly or always provide non-English-language prescription labels; 46 percent could mostly or always provide non-English-language information…

15 Jul: New Jerseyites want to buy prescription drugs from Canada

From the Asbury Park Press: Readers: Let Canada sell drugs in U.S. Most of those participating in an online poll believe the United States should allow prescription drugs from Canada to be sold here. “Should the United States allow prescription drugs from Canada to be sold in this country?” was the question posed last week on the Web site of the Asbury Park Press. Of the 3,656 taking part, 84.6 percent said yes and 15.4 percent said no. When will the will of the people be heard in Washington?

30 May: eDrugSearch.com featured on KENS 5 in San Antonio

Watch out, world: I’m a TV star now. KENS 5, the CBS affiliate in San Antonio, ran a report on eDrugSearch.com on its evening newcast Tuesday night. Here’s a text excerpt from Wendy Rigby’s story: Millions of Americans who are uninsured or underinsured have trouble affording the prescription medications they need. Now, a South Texas man has come up with a way for them to find better deals safely… For those who can’t afford to pay the high prices, enter Bulverde resident Cary Byrd, whose brainstorming led him to create a Web site called eDrugSearch.com. “I just wanted to create something where people can go and search for the medications online for, you know, cheaper prices,” he said. Here’s how…

29 May: Five tips for choosing an online pharmacy

eDrugSearch.com is proud of the fact that, largely through this blog and the media attention our Web site has achieved, we’ve received a steadily increasing number of e-mails and phone calls from consumers seeking information about ordering drugs safely online. Although the Internet can be a great tool for saving money on your prescription medications, it must be approached with caution — and unfortunately, this is partly our own government’s fault. Until the FDA stops wasting its enforcement efforts on licensed, legitimate Canadian pharmacies and starts focusing on the real problem of rogue pharmacies, consumers must be careful in selecting the online pharmacies they patronize. If you know what to look for, however, finding a trustworthy Internet pharmacy isn’t that…

26 May: Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2007: A closer look

The Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2007, a bill jointly introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), is currently being considered by Congress. We strongly favor this proposed legislation and, though we are a bit cynical about its prospects, we thought we would detail its provisions and why the law would be a good thing for consumers and for public safety. Specifically, the legislation would serve to: (1) provide criminal penalties for those who unlawfully dispense controlled substances over the Internet; (2) give state attorneys general a civil cause of action against anyone who violates the act if they have reason to believe that the violation affects the interests of their state’s residents; and (3)…

21 May: ABC News details dangers of unscrupulous online pharmacies

ABC News ran a story last week highlighting the dangers of unscrupulous online pharmacies. The piece pointed to proposed legislation that many hope will remedy the problem: Sens. Dianne Feinsten, D-Calif., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., have proposed legislation in memory of Ryan Haight that would limit online sales of controlled substances. Among other goals, the Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2007 aims to change laws to require a valid prescription for online transactions, with the validity of the prescription hinging upon the requirement that a doctor personally examine the patient. eDrugSearch.com is in favor of greater regulation of online pharmacies. Unfortunately, we doubt legislation that will help consumers easily identify safe online pharmacies will be passed anytime soon. Why?…

19 May: eDrugSearch.com makes headlines in San Antonio Express-News

The San Antonio Express-News published a nice piece on the front page of its business section today on eDrugSearch.com and another area company, Weno Healthcare. Reports staff writer Travis Polling: Both firms are getting good feedback and encouragement from early clients… Cary Byrd, who launched eDrugSearch.com, is getting the traffic he says will lead to being able to sell advertising to pharmacies by January. The site had 30,000 unique users in April, nearly doubling from March. Users from all over the country are using the site to do price comparisons for prescription drugs that can be ordered over the Internet. Among the most popular searches at eDrugSearch.com are “acid reflux” and “cholesterol-lowering drugs.” “We’re just trying to inform people so…

08 May: Thanks for trying, Byron

With it clear that the U.S. Senate had the votes to finally legalize the reimportation of drugs from Canada, some sneaky Senators were able to add provisions to Sen. Byron Dorgan’s amendment that essentially nullify its impact. Though he shouldn’t have been surprised, Dorgan (D-ND) expressed disappointment in the outcome: We’re going to keep fighting. One day, I assure you, we are going to inject a little price competition into the American market when it comes to prescription medicines. Without competition, the big drug companies monopoly price their medicines and Americans pay the highest prices in the world… We could have voted to help improve the lives of millions of Americans, make prescription drugs more safe, and, according to the…

03 May: Big Pharma voted “biggest health care hustler”

From the AFL-CIO’s blog: In a country where millions go without health insurance — while pharmaceutical company executives sometimes have to struggle to pay for that fifth mortgage in Belize or scrape by to purchase that second corporate jet — Working America members have come up with the worst of the very bad health care hustlers in this nation: Big Pharma … Some 11,000 Working America online voters selected Big Pharma over health insurers and other health providers as the worst hustler… You may know Big Pharma as the quality folks responsible for driving up the price of prescriptions throughout the 50 states by sucessfully lobbying Congress for a ban on allowing the government to negotiate lower prices for Medicare…

02 May: Big Pharma advertisement “educates” consumers with gibberish

A new Viagra commercial doesn’t want you to understand the product — just buy it. As the New York Times reports: The ads feature middle-aged men and women talking in a made-up language, save for one word. ‘Viagra spanglecheff?’ says a man to a friend at a bowling alley. ‘Spanglecheff?’ his friend asks. ‘Minky Viagra noni noni boo-boo plats!’ the first man replies, with a grin that suggests he is not talking about the drug’s side effects. The ads end with the slogan, ‘The International Language of Viagra.’… Maxine Thomas, an executive at Taxi, the agency in Toronto that produced the campaign, said the ads take advantage of Viagra’s name recognition. “It’s not as though we need to tell people…

16 Apr: Nosy pharmacy employees harass Julianne Moore

Speaking of pharmacists who humiliate customers, I’m reminded of this classic clip from P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia, in which Julianne Moore is harassed by pharmacy employees when she attempts to purchase powerful medications for her dying husband. Be warned: the language is very R-rated — but the anger of Moore’s distraught character is certainly understandable. Skip the drama — buy your prescription medications online.

16 Apr: Washington pharmacists must dispense morning-after pill

According to Sci-Tech Today, pharmacists in Washington state will no longer have the right to refuse to dispense Barr Pharmaceuticals’ Plan B drug — the morning-after pill — based on their personal beliefs: Pharmacists who believe “morning-after” birth control pills are tantamount to abortion cannot stand in the way of a patient’s right to the drugs, regulators in the U.S. state of Washington have decided. In a unanimous vote Thursday, the state Board of Pharmacy ruled that drug stores have a duty to fill lawful prescriptions despite an individual pharmacist’s personal objections to any particular medication. Pharmacists or drug stores that violate the rules could face discipline from the board, which has the power to revoke state licenses. The Washington…

12 Apr: Alternative to Big Pharma’s “big bucket of money” pricing model

Well, disgraced AstraZeneca sales exec Mike Zubillaga has finally removed his foot from his mouth and broken his silence. Via Pharmalot, here’s what Mike had to say: It’s been an absolutely horrible week. I don’t wish this on anyone. But I have to move on. I have a family to take care of…I hold no grudges or malice against anyone. Right now, I’m just trying to piece my life back together. But I don’t have any other comment at this point. He declined to go into details about the controversial AstraZeneca newsletter article or his firing. The good news is that consumers do have an alternative to AstraZeneca’s “big bucket of money” prices. Recently, we helped PharmaGossip put together a…

27 Mar: An interview with David Janeson of Jandrugs

David Janeson owns Jandrugs, a leading Canadian online pharmacy that is part of the eDrugSearch.com database. I interviewed David recently about his business and some of the common misperceptions about Canadian pharmacies. Cary: David, what percentage of your orders come from U.S. citizens? David: Virtually all of our business at Jandrugs is from Americans. As Americans typically face the highest drug prices in the world, it is where our services are most required. We’ve been offering prescriptions filled to Americans since 2002. Cary: One of the biggest misconceptions about ordering medications from Canadian pharmacies is that there is a quality difference between Canadian and U.S. drugs. To what extent is this perception a problem? David: As evidenced by the Dorgan-Snowe…

26 Mar: Listen to our interview on Pharma Marketing Talk

Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss eDrugSearch.com on Pharma Marketing Talk, an online talk show with John Mack, author of the Pharma Marketing Blog and The Pharma Blogosphere. I described some of the reasons I decided to start eDrugSearch.com and some of the new features we’re planning for the site. Find out more and listen to the archive podcast here and here. And thanks, John!

22 Mar: Want to “get high to fly”? Don’t come to eDrugSearch.com

From Brian Skoloff of the Associated Press: A 4-foot-tall, overweight, alcoholic, heroin-addicted airline pilot placed an order on a Web site for steroids, Ritalin and methadone, noting in the online questionnaire that he wanted “to get high to fly.” Two days later, the package arrived. Unfortunately for Dr. David Stephenson, who ran the site from his home near Syracuse, the “pilot” was actually a New York state investigator looking to see just how difficult it was to buy controlled substances online without ever seeing a physician, a crime in that state and several others. These sham “pharmacies” are the primary reason we started eDrugSearch.com — to help consumers find a safe place where they can be sure that all participating…

26 Feb: Is new bill designed to make buying drugs online safer or harder?

U.S. Senator Judd Gregg has announced his introduction of a bill to require licensing of all online pharmacies, including those based in Canada, by the FDA. Under the proposed legislation, Canadian pharmacies would be required to have a physical presence in the United States to receive FDA approval. This legislation may sound good, but let’s be real: It’s clearly designed to prevent U.S. consumers from buying drugs from online pharmacies, period. Why should Canadian pharmacies be forced to set up a presence in the U.S. when they are regulated by their own government — and these regulations are just as strict as those of the FDA? Senator Gregg is well aware that this is not going to happen. Despite the…

25 Feb: Customer fights back after being turned away by Wal-Mart pharmacist

Perhaps you remember this story when it was widely reported in January. As the Columbus Dispatch covered it then: Plan B is two hormone pills (essentially high-test birth-control pills) that prevent pregnancy and are considered most effective when taken soon after unprotected sex — ideally, within 72 hours. Plan B is not the abortion pill, RU-486. Tashina Byrd, her boyfriend and her 4-year-old son headed to a Springfield Wal-Mart to pick up some things, including Plan B. Byrd, 23, of Springfield, and her boyfriend, Brian O’Neill, 37, of Columbus, said a condom broke. When the pharmacy attendant asked pharmacist Brent Beams about it, “He shook his head and laughed,” Byrd said. The attendant told them the store had Plan B…

18 Feb: Pharmacy safety is not just an online issue

WOAI-TV, the NBC affiliate in San Antonio, broadcast a powerful report on pharmacy safety last week. You can watch the full video here; here’s an excerpt from the report: It turns out pharmacists and pharmacies make … mistakes a lot more than you might think. Mistakes include giving you someone else’s medicine, giving you the wrong medicine or giving the wrong dosage. In the case of thirteen year old Christopher Booker, it was the wrong dosage. He survived cancer treatment at a San Antonio hospital back in 2002. Deemed free of the deadly disease by his own doctors, Christopher was sent home for a second chance at life. Just one week later, though, he died. Pharmacist Kenton Graham Wylie misfilled…

02 Feb: Spammers know the popularity of Canadian drugs

From the Toronto Globe and Mail: It’s a dubious achievement, but Canada’s reputation as a place to buy cheaper drugs has been co-opted by spammers who recognized that using the “Canadian Online Drugstore” subject line was a powerful lure, it was the second-most popular spam subject line in 2006. So found IBM Internet Security Systems X-Force research and development team in its 2006 security statistics report. Not surprisingly, IBM also discovered that spam rose 39.5 per cent in 2006 over 2005 levels… Consumers have to wade through this same kind of junk when they search for Canadian pharmacies online through Google or other search engines. That’s one reason we started eDrugSearch.com — to give people a spam-free option for finding…