Monday, August 25, 2008

Legal Thriller-Type Con Game?--Nuttiest of Them All: Online Pharmacy Scams

--Blatantly Illegal, Viagra-inspired Internet Pharmacy Fraud is Flourishing

If, each morning, you charged from your home onto the street, arms waving in the air, shouting, "Nuke the gay whales for Jesus," do you suppose your neighbors might think you'd lost your mind?

No doubt.

But, oddly, this is precisely the risk so many people take on--attaining an equal level of lunacy, possibly--when pursuing really hazardous dealings with online pharmacies. The con man knows that their victims want to be treated as equals--that, while dogs look up to you, and cats look down at you, pigs treat you as an equal. He is, therefore, right at home wallowing in the mud, filth, and slop of this sty. The consequences can be staggeringly detrimental to your health, as well as your standing as a law-abiding citizen. Whatever it is that hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

Two reasons:

First, it's a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act to vend prescription drugs without a valid prescription. In short, a flat-out violation of the law. If your level of awareness is equivalent to one who donated all of his assets to O.J.'s Defense Fund, you might not have realized the significance of this, but the consequences can be severe, indeed. Enough to be akin to squashing your faith in O.J.'s attempts to find the "real killer." Fines and even imprisonment could loom on your horizon, penalizing you for your involvement.

Boiled down, it's hard, planning for the future when you're so busy fixing what you screwed up yesterday. Confidence is what you have when you really don't understand the situation. Don't let yourself get into that position.

And, secondly, it could be dangerous to your health. You have no idea where these drugs came from. Many are complete rip-off counterfeits--promoted by con men--which originate from all corners of the world

Analysis of pharmaceuticals bought from online pharmacies has revealed that the efficacy and potency of the delivered products vary considerably. Some contain no active ingredient at all. Worse yet, trace amounts of such deadly heavy metals as lead,, zinc, chromium, cadmium and arsenic have been found--even poppy seed (heroin) and cocaine--to build a new repeat-customer base, apparently. It's as bad as it seems, and, yes, they are out to "get you." At the very least, dealing with most of these people is about as useless as ordering synthetic hairballs for your ceramic cats.

Oh, there's more, too:

Additional crimes committed include copyright infringement, falsification of doctor approval, malware intrusion (for identity theft purposes), money laundering, false advertising, and sale of non-FDA approved drugs. If you are clean of involvement with this sort of commerce, fine. If you know people who have fallen into this trap, warn them off Friends don't let friends drive naked.

Where actual M.D.s are involved, these are usually doctors with troubled work histories, financial problems, substance abuse questions, and legal conundrums. Where questionnaires are included, these are usually a farce--never weighed, considered, or checked--merely window dressing. There is nowhere to go when dealing with con men like these. Remember, cancer kills smoking.

This in-your-face breaking of the law has been going on for some time. You can only wonder, when will our government stop inadvertently affording a protective cover for these people--con men of every stripe--and unmercifully clamp down, determinedly stamp this out?

That's like asking, why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid somebody will clean them?


Swubird said...

Con Man:

Great article and a story that needs to be told and re-told over and over again until we get it into out thick heads. It's inherently dangerous to frequent online pharmacies!

But, the thing is, people are desperate. We all can't afford the huge costs of drugs, so we seek out alternative sources. Before the big to-do about Canadian online pharmacies, it was all about Mexican drugs. The mantra was "go to TJ and buy anything you wanted."

I belong to Kaiser - a huge HMO. My wife desperately needs a certain drug that is one of the only things that works for her ailment. However, because there's no generic form of the drug available, Kaiser charges us the full price, plus their markup. That's disgusting. I've paid into Kaiser for nearly 40 years now, yet I have to pay $147 every month for just one of her drugs. That's pretty lousy treatment from an HMO that constantly runs TV ads proclaiming how patient friendly it is - doctors who care, and all that crap. Hogwash! And let me tell you, when you're retired, $147 isn't pocket change. So, someone whispers into my ear that I can get the same drug through an online pharmacy for just $50! Really? So, it's easy to see how tempting something like that can be.

This is a very important topic and I am glad you decided to post it. Keep up the good work Con Man.

Happy trails.

Ione Hesber said...

I have wondered about the legality of these internet legal drug vendors. This is the first time I saw anybody discuss it. Thanks.

Bern said...

I know of a man who bought from these pharmacies regularly. At first he was happy, then he quit abruptly...I don't know what that was all about.

Lynn said...

My Dad bought some high priced drug from one of these companies doing business in Canada. For some reason he was suspicious and had a friend do a chemical analysis of it. As it turned out there were only tiny amounts of the ingredients in it that was in the literature that came with it. He felt it was like taking a placebo, and he felt ripped off.

Terry said...

Nuke the gay whales for Jesus? That's the ultimate phrase, Jack.
I promise that I will maintain a grip on my sanity and never run into the streets shouting that.

Warren M said...

I think too many people overlook the money laundering possibilities of this kind of venture. Ideal way to do this, for sure.

Jack Payne said...

Interesting story on the Kaiser thing, Swu.
After reading that it's easy to see why so many people are driven to the cut-rate internet boys, as a sort of haven, or escape, if you will, from these sky-high prescription drug charges.

There have, really, been quite a few news stories about these internet drug houses, Ione. I tried to cover it, purely, from what should be considered the outright negatives. Highlight these.

Abrupt halt, 'eh, Bern. That oughta tell you something.

Jack Payne said...

Interesting story, Lynn, on how Canada got dragged into the act--on internet drug sales, that is. As soon as the publicity got out that U.S. drugs (supposedly the same ones manufactured in the U..S.) were sold in Canada, the door was open. And, a lot of Canadian hucksters cashed in. Some legitimate, many not. Just putting a Canadian address on it seemed to nail down a lot of sales from U.S. citizens trying to save a few bucks.

Jack Payne said...

Yes, Warren, these outfits are naturals for money laundering. Big volume businesses, tippy-toe versability of moving around at any time, and international borders.
All ideal advantages for money laundering activities.

Terry said...

Ordering synthetic hairballs for ceramic cats...that's another line I like, Jack.

Helper said...

I have heard that its not uncommon to slip come cocaine into these prescriptions, to create a habit and build a clientele. I hope I'm wrong on this...this is about as dirty and lowdown as you can get.

Barry said...

Good stuff pointed out! And hey! at least the contributors to OJ's defense fund were on the winning side :))

livelife365 said...

Amazing the stuff people get away with online...and I'm not just talking about my blog. Excellent points, interesing topic, well done, Jack.

I Miss My Hair

dani c said...

Great article. I constantly receive these e-mails for pharmaceuticals. It makes me shake my head in disbelief. I know coming from the medical field how dangerous certain drugs are as well as interactions, etc. It's scary knowing that there's a possibility that people can diagnose and treat themselves.

Apellico said...

Money laundering and sale of non-FDA approved drugs are heavy charges. But how can sale of non-FDA approved drugs have any enforcability overseas?

Jack Payne said...

Your guess is a good one, Helper. It is not uncommon to include trace (introductory) amounts of cocaine into these drugs.

Technically, you are right, Barry. The O.J. Defense Fund did pay off for him. But, I'm sure you get my drift.

Jack Payne said...

Thanks, Mike, my neighbor from Chico, Ca.

Yes, Dani, the self-medicating possibilities of buying this stuff through these mystery internet channels is dangerous, from the standpoint of drug interactions alone. This is to say nothing of the impurities and mis-labeled ingredients.

Jack Payne said...

That's it, Apellico. Enforcement of U.S.A. drug laws as supervised by the F.D.A. is literally impossible overseas. This is why overseas shelters, from which to pull these scams on U.S. citizens is so appealing to the con man.

Dolcett said...

The worst part of this is that there is nothing in the pills. I've heard of chemical analysis being done and finding nothing. Am I wrong?

Jack Payne said...

That's right, Dolcett. A good many of these are placebos. But, I think you will agree, sugar pills are far better than Cocaine. So, this only involves a waste of money.

Robin Easton said...

Since I don't do this it never occurred to me that one might get try to get their prescription online. WOW, what a disaster this one is. I can hardly believe it. It's baaaaad news all around. I feel bad for people who are financially desperate or house bound and see it as a good deal. Phew!'s a good thing you write about it.

Also, I about died over this line: "Nuke the gay whales for Jesus,"

I totally lost it over THAT line.
It would make the BEST bumper sticker. People wouldn't know what to make of it. Truly Jack, if I were there I'd give you a big old hug. You are like nothing I've ever known. I'm sitting here with a huge grin. You're priceless my friend. I so enjoy who you are.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently discussing about how technology has become so integrated in our day to day lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as memory becomes cheaper, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about almost every day.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4[/url] DS SurfV3)