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It's 'Buyer Beware' When Getting Statins Off the Internet
Date:2/2/2012

guage, they added.

Dr. Laurence Gardner, a professor of medicine and executive dean for education and policy at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that this is not really a problem in the United States.

"There are countries that let you buy statins without a medical exam or a prescription," Gardner said. "In this day and age, that's nuts."

In the United States, very high-potency generic statins are available for $4 a month from big box stores, he said. "So, it's inconceivable that you can buy them cheaper."

"Moreover, there are enough side effects from these drugs that it requires at least a modest amount of physician oversight," he said.

In addition, people taking statins need to have their cholesterol monitored to be sure they are hitting target levels and whether the dose of the drug needs to be adjusted, he said.

When buying prescription drugs on the Internet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises:

  • Be sure the site requires a prescription and has a pharmacist available to answer your questions.
  • Buy only from licensed pharmacies in the United States.
  • Don't give personal information like credit card numbers unless you are sure the site won't release them.

More information

For more about buying drugs on the Internet, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: David Brown, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, U.K.; Laurence Gardner, M.D., professor, medicine, and executive dean, education and policy, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Feb. 2, 2012, Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety


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