Thinking about prescription drugs to lose
weight? Don't risk your health in the process.
copyright 2003 Frank Sousa
A recent article in the Washington Post
titled "Doctors Medicate Strangers
on the Web" tells how Internet pharmacies
have their own doctors writing prescriptions
over the Internet.
The article described a Dr. Ernesto Cantu,
an admitted drug addict, who wrote thousands
of prescriptions for painkillers for customers
of a now defunct online pharmacy, pillbox.com.
"Those orders were based on brief
telephone conversations with patients Cantu
never examined or even met. All together,
he approved more than 1 million doses of
dangerous drugs court records show."
The article goes on to state how Internet
pharmacies have attracted doctors with substance
abuse problems, legal setbacks and financial
woes. Cantu was earning as much as $1500
a day writing these prescriptions. Other
online "doctors" are making as
much as $500,000 a year writing prescriptions
for people that they've never met. Often
the only criteria for writing these prescriptions
is information that people fill out on a
medical questionnaire from the pharmacy's
Do you really think that these doctors
or pharmacies have the best interest of
their patients at heart? They have one objective,
and that is to sell drugs. The more drugs
they sell the more money they make.
To quote from one of the online pharmacy's
FAQs. "Online consultations are a new
concept in health care that utilize the
Internet to improve patient access to physician
care." Some improvement! Can they take
your blood pressure? Can they listen to
your heart and your lungs? Can they look
at blood and urine samples? Can they test
for correct kidney functions and cholesterol
levels? Do they know your medical history
or just what you put onto their form?
Don't gamble with your health. You need
a prescription to buy these drugs for a
reason. All drugs have certain interactions,
side effects and dangers. For example one
of the side affects of the popular weight
loss drug Phentermine is that it can be
highly addictive. Hmm... most of these online
pharmacy sites fail to mention that. More
than a two week's dosage can be dangerous.
Your doctor must determine if you suffer
from high blood pressure, an over-active
thyroid, glaucoma, diabetes, or emotional
problems. Other drugs can cause liver problems.
How can these online quacks test for those
I recently did a keyword search on Google
for the top thirty online pharmacies listed
under the weight loss drug Phentermine.
Out of the top thirty, more than half were
on domains registered outside the US. Why?
To avoid prosecution! NONE of them gave
any information about which doctor would
be prescribing the medication and what credentials
he or she had. Only ONE of them would give
the name and address of the pharmacy that
filled the prescription.
Would you buy a Rolex from someone you
didn't know who wouldn't give you his address?
I didn't think so. Why would you sacrifice
your health and possibly your life to an
unknown, unseen "doctor" who's
income depends on the number of prescriptions
he writes? How do you know what credentials
he or she has? You don't. How do you know
if that's really a doctor on the other end
of the email or telephone?
Are all online pharmacies dangerous? Not
at all. There are many good reason to buy
prescriptions online. Convenience? Price?
How do you know which are legitimate and
which aren't? If a pharmacy claims to have
it's own doctors or refers you to a middle
man for an online "check up" get
out of there fast! No legitimate pharmacy
will sell dangerous drugs without a prescription
from your own doctor.
Each state has it's own Board of Pharmacy.
There is a National Association of Boards
of Pharmacy (NABP) that maintains a website
listing all online pharmacies that have
undergone a quite rigorous certification
program. This program is called Verified
Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. Conditions
- maintaining all state licenses in good
- allowing information about the pharmacy
to be posted and maintained on the VIPPS
Web site at http://www.nabp.net/vipps/consumer/listall.asp
- allowing an NABP-sanctioned team to
inspect it's operations, given reasonable
- displaying and maintaining the VIPPS
seal with a link to the VIPPS web site
If the above hasn't convinced you to work
through your local doctor, maybe this will.
Most of the online pharmacies that I searched
through claimed to have the best Phentermine
prices on the net.
Best for who? Certainly not you, the consumer.
Their "discount" price for a
15 mg 60 count supply averaged $102.29 with
all but one charging $18.00 for shipping.
The LOWEST price I could find there was
$67.99 with $18 shipping.
I visited several of the websites listed
on the VIPPS
At drugstore.com, which was one of the
sites listed, I could buy the same dosage
and pill count for $42.99. Their shipping
charge was $1.49. Other sites seemed to
be about $55.
Next I called a local pharmacy. Their price
was $57.99. Our local Costco pharmacy sells
the same thing for $44.29. Best prices on
the net? I think not.
Don't pay over twice the normal price for
the "privilege" of buying drugs
without your doctor's advice. It could be
the last mistake you'll ever make.
Read the entire Washington
Post article here.
Frank Sousa is webmaster for two weight
loss related websites, weightloss-zone.com
a weight loss search engine, and 101weightlossarticles.com
a collection of information relating to
He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org