Photo: zacharmstrong / Flickr
Not so long ago we discussed the price advantages and possible ingredient disadvantages of Generic Drugs over Name Brand Drugs in the post Generic Drugs Are Cheaper. But Are They Better?This week I watched a documentary on The Discovery Channel called: Inside Russia’s Most Dangerous Prisons which was a huge eye opener.
“Go To Prison” is definitely on my List of Things NOT TO DO in my life. Life in Russia is cold, and life in Russia’s Prisons is even colder. Russia’s most notorious prison is called Black Dolphin, and it actually houses a cannibal.
This cannibal prisoner killed a man over a misunderstanding, chopped up his body, boiled the pieces, fried them in a pan, and served human body parts to his friends for dinner.
The cannibal told his friends that it was Kangaroo meat. That’s right, his friends ate the evidence of a human body…and they didn’t even know it.
Coincidentally this past week The National Post published an article titled Drug Scams: A Billion Dollar Industry for Russian Gangs. This article discussed a common online scam where fake pharmacies sell counterfeit drugs for home delivery. This article was also an eye opener because very often we try to buy our drugs and other medical supplies at a discount because they are so expensive. But this article proves that cheaper is not always better.
If you have ever surfed the web or signed up for a mailing list I am sure that you have seen advertisements for asthma inhalers, wheelchairs, contact lenses, and diabetes medicines all at discounted prices through an online home delivery website. The idea of home delivery is convenient, and the cheaper costs are very helpful for our budgets; but the truth is that discounted drugs can actually seriously hurt, cause harm, or even kill you.
Russian Gangs set up pharmaceutical websites that appear to be legit. When clients order drugs they are delivered right to their front door, but what is in those drugs can be lethal. I know that times are tough and everyone is trying to save a buck or two here and there; but drugs, medicine, and health care supplies are some things that we should just not mess with. The extra costs of paying for drugs at a legitimate pharmacy may save our lives.
The Russian Drug scam has reached 79 countries and has sold over 2.5 million doses of counterfeit drugs. Some of the counterfeit and fake drugs sold were treatments for weight loss, acne, breast cancer, epilepsy, and erectile dysfunctions. The drug scam even targeted students with sleeping disorders who wanted to stay awake and study. The number of deaths was not reported, but several hundreds of thousands of people are at risk. If you have bought drugs online from a discount website I suggest that you take the medicine to your doctor and have it checked out.
Here is an interesting and astonishing fact, the World Health organisation estimates that half of all online discount drug websites sell counterfeit or fake drugs. These medications are not checked for quality, and they may contain a lower dosage than required by the actual prescription. Last month I almost bought contact lenses from an online distributor because the cost was almost half of my regular cost, and they were offering a free trial pair of lenses.
After reading this article I contacted my Optician and placed my order for 6 months worth of new contact lenses. Although the price was tempting, I couldn’t take the risk that the contact lenses would be unclean and give me an eye infection, or that they wouldn’t be prescription contact lenses at all.
Paying half of the original price is great, but if our drugs turn out to be counterfeit we are still losing money. We would still have to pay the full price to buy new prescription drugs when our online drugs turned out to be fake.