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Medical Edge

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Ask the Expert About Online Prescriptions

Updated: Wednesday, September 18 2013, 10:16 AM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A Local 12 viewer has a great question about the safety of medications ordered online. Medical reporter Liz Bonis Asks the Experts at TriHealth about it in today's Medical Edge.

As a pharmacist, Desmond Waters says he used to get asked quite often when he worked the front lines about medications picked up versus those you order online. They want to know is it safe, is it okay to use, is it a good way to save money?

Now as a pharmacy hospital administrator, Liz decided he was the perfect go-to guy, as we ask experts about prescription purchases.

This week's question comes from a viewer who wanted to know about mail order medication. She said when she gets her medications in the mail, they don't look the same as when she gets them at the pharmacy. So she wanted to know, are they safe to take, and how do you know if they are the real thing?

In short, Waters says you don't know if they are safe to take or the real thing, unless you know where they came from, "anything that you purchase that is not from a licensed retail us pharmacy, pharmacy outlet or hospital is not actually regulated by the FDA".

He says that means when it comes to your medicine, some are actually the product, some are not. While some are actually the proper doses he says some are not. "You could actually end up doing more harm than good if you get a drug that is not potent enough".

Since most often you order on line to reduce cost, he suggests instead "if you get a new drug, talk with your physician make sure that's the right drug, make sure that there isn't a less expensive medication you could use. And if there isn't,  then ask the physician does he have any vouchers, does he have any assistance. If he doesn't take it to the pharmacy and ask the same question, surprisingly enough , most, if not all have some sort of assistance, based on need".
Ask the Expert About Online Prescriptions

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