Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by guest3, Nov 27, 2007.
she's a cheap skate isn't she
Tell him to go right ahead, and you'll be laughing when the DEA picks him up.
What a moron.
In Australia we have some AUSTRALIAN sites which offer good deals AND reputable medications. But for the sort of medications we need for difficult children, especially stims - authority medications - we MUST use only one pharmacy, it has to be one the government recognises. If the online system is connected to such a pharmacy, we can do it. But there still has to be a paper trail - the prescription is a literal piece of paper, not a virtual one.
A lot of other 'medications' such as vitamins and medications not needing a prescription because they're being ordered from outside the country - we CAN do it, but only for personal use only. I'm not sure, but I think this means (technically) that you can't order from overseas, and then give it to your child.
There are good reasons for this which are the same reasons, regardless of where you live.
Basically, each country has its own governing body which regulates the product being offered for sale (there are some exceptions - in unregulated countries, anything goes and the risks are enormous).
Let's say Company A wants to market a new drug, product X. First they have to test it themselves so they can say, for sure, that Product X is really good for treating X Disease. They must have tested it and provide those test results (or pay for independent testing). In Australia we have two categories - a product for which therapeutic claims are being made, has to qualify for REGISTRATION. It then is given a unique number with "R" in front of it. Our governing body is TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) - the equivalent to FDA. So looking at the bottle we would see "TGA R238429" and know that at any time we could ask TGA to confirm the number and product are correct.
If a product is on the market and has not been tested for efficacy, but HAS been tested to make sure it is safe, then it is released as LISTED - it has "L" at the beginning of the number.
The process of lodging details with TGA also requires exhaustive info needing to be provided by Company A, stating exactly what is in it and how much (including inactive ingredients such as colouring, fillers etc) as well as the contact details of Company A and its executives.
Now, let's say Company A now has Product X on the market in Australia (listed or registered). There is absolutely no concern that they have watered down their product, or 'cut' it with something else like talcum powder (the sort of thing backyard drug labs do regularly). But someone in the company, a tad unscrupulous, wants to make a bit of money. While it is illegal to tamper with the product for Australian shelves or even Australian online orders, he can ship ANYTHING he wants to overseas. Australian customs and TGA only care about what is coming IN to the country, not what is going out. And if a customer orders a product from overseas and declares it to be only for personal use, they won't care if the bloke has ordered melatonin but only gets talcum powder. it is perfectly legal to import talcum powder, regardless of the label.
So, back to our executive in Company A. He arranges for a specific batch, perhaps the end of a run, to be watered down (or totally substituted). This is a batch with no "R" or "L" numbers on the packaging, because it's not to be released on the domestic market. Instead, it's for orders from overseas (including the US, folks). Caveat emptor (it's the purchaser's problem).
So now to the person who purchases this in the US, probably because it's either cheaper, or it's not yet released in the US (see "Lorenzo's Oil"). If the online pharmacy you bought it from actually has a conscience, actually IS a real pharmacy led by a qualified and ethical pharmacist, you're doing fine. But there are no checks and balances. And absolutely no comeback if what is in the package you bought is not what you ordered.
We get this as a problem more in Australia than the US - a number of disreputable US and Canadian companies will happily sell to individual Australians ordering online, and when we get the package, it looks identical to what we would have purchased in the US. But there the resemblance often ends. If the company packaging it KNOWS it's for an overseas market where their product has not yet been released (since the testing for the Aussie market has to be duplicated, you can't just use old US results - hence we're often years behind in getting new medications, thanks to our small population and the higher per capita cost of R & D) then the company can happily send us the sweepings from the factory floor, if they choose.
An Aussie current affairs show researched this some years ago. They ordered melatonin (only released here VERY recently) and a range of vitamins (cheaper from overseas) and tested the batches for dose strength, comparing claimed (on the packaging and in the order) and actually, as measured.
NONE matched. All were lower. Many were less than 10% of claimed dose. Some were totally absent - the purchased product was entirely filler.
In that case, none of the filler was harmful, but buying online from overseas at suspiciously cheap rates - you have absolutely no protection. Would you want to risk dosing your child with strychnine?
Now remember, medicines used in the 1800s often included arsenic, antimony, mercury and strychnine, among other charming ingredients. And it's perfectly legal to import these products if they are available for purchase legally in your country. If you apparently choose to import it labelled as vitamins and for your personal bizzare use, it's your lookout, as far as Customs so often are concerned. As long as you're not planning to market it, they really don't care.
Now I realise I'm probably not telling you anything you didn't know. But if you want to print this from me to your S2BX, feel free. I had to research this some years ago for an article I wrote, so I've been interested in the progress of this topic.
And also remember - the trade of nasty stuff goes every direction. Another program I saw some years ago showed how some drug companies, finding themselves with stocks of drugs no longer permitted to be on sale (such as after a recall) will happily sell it in Third World countries, saying whatever they like where there is little or no regulation. This we had cases of children being fed massive doses of steroids "because it will make the child gain weight" - something desirable in a country where people are starving. And so little boys developed genital problems as everything shrank, they got chalky bones and became desperately ill with Cushingoid symptoms. And yes, the drug companies freely dumped their load of thalidomide, not telling people to avoid taking it during pregnancy (it's actually a useful drug).
So please feel free to pass this message on, maybe nail it to his skull because I hate seeing so many innocent kids getting damaged one way or another, by this naive assumption that ANY 'pharmacy' anywhere is going to be reputable.
Not if they don't have to be accountable. Not if they're not legit. Not if... [insert your own concerns here].
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