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"Generic" medications, like finasteride/Propecia and others...

A common question from patients is regarding the purchase of "cheap" prescription medication (especially generics) from so-called "Canadian," or other overseas webistes.

 

It has been well-established that buying prescription medications over the internet is fraught with problems.   For example, “generic” overseas finasteride pills are not FDA-approved.  Federal law prohibits importing drugs that are not FDA-approved, regardless of whether there’s a foreign or domestic prescription.   U.S. Customs officials may seize and destroy all non-approved drugs.  The FDA has issued warnings regarding counterfeit and/or illegally-diverted medications from bogus websites that ‘appear’ legitimate.  Most often, the problem with web-based pharmacies (if the medication is actually real) is that the potency, quality, storage of the drugs is drastically inferior to US standards.   Here are just a few of the places for more info on this common issue…

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/consumer/buyonline/guide.htm

http://www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline/faqs.html

http://www.healthatoz.com/atoz/healthupdate/alert02152000.html

http://www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline/default.htm

http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/rpm_new2/ch9pers.html

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2000/100_online.html

http://www.customs.gov/imp-exp2/ipr/stats/tcommod00.htm

http://www.customs.gov/travel/med.htm

http://www.customs.gov/impoexpo/inetrade.htm#restricted

http://www.customs.gov/impoexpo/tools/archives/vol1n02/phas.htm

http://www.customs.gov/impoexpo/tools/archives/vol1n03/presmed.htm

http://www.the-surfs-up.com/news/news1vs2.html

http://www.fda.gov/ola/2003/pharmsales0327.html

 

Probably the main concern I have as a physician is that patients may have difficulty evaluating the benefits of the medication if they are not being properly tracked and examined in a medical setting.

 

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