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News Link • Drugs and Medications

FDA's Stance On Online Pharmacies May Go Too Far, Study Says

• http://www.npr.org, by Shankar Vedantam
 

The Food and Drug Administration has warned people about the many dangers of buying medications from foreign pharmacies over the Internet. While some sites might offer high-quality medicines, there are plenty that sell bogus and potentially dangerous products.

But a recent economic analysis suggests that while there's good reason for the safety warnings, the FDA's stance on the matter might go too far. Many Americans don't fill their prescriptions because they can't afford to, the study says, and some legitimate foreign pharmacies may offer medicines at prices lower than those of verified U.S. suppliers.

"A blanket warning against any foreign website may deny consumers substantial price savings," states the report from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
 
They obtained 328 drug samples from 41 online pharmacies based in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe or Asia. They found the foreign suppliers the same way many consumers do: by doing a search on Google and Yahoo.
 

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