There are thousands (and that’s a conservative estimate) of Online Pharmacies that sell all kinds of generic (and sometimes brand) drugs to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who take advantage of the incredibly low prices that the SAME medication can be purchased for in this manner. Almost since the conception of this practice, which can be duly traced to the popularity and success of the Internet, there has been discussion as to the legality or, at least, the philosophical matters surrounding the practice.
Recently, more especially because of some developments in the US (by far the highest user of this ‘service’), there have been some Online Pharmacies deciding to “err on the side of caution” and stop accepting orders into the US. Strangely enough, though, at least some are continuing to supply to other countries? I mean, it’s either legal or it’s not, as far as I’m concerned. So, I decided to do some research.
I think a good choice for an example would be Viagra (or generic versions of the drug), the original brand made by Pfizer. Their patent, I believe, runs out in 2113, having been taken out in 1993 (20 years is the norm in this industry). I am NOT a lawyer, nor do I have any specific training that would qualify me to report with any authority however, I do have a brain, which works quite well (better than some lawyers, I expect .
I chose Viagra because I believe it would have to be the drug most sought after and procured in generic form from outside of the US. I also chose it because, being an Affiliate marketer, generic Viagra has been responsible for part (not quite half, but still a reasonable amount) of my online income in the past couple of years. Also, a large portion of the sales through which I earned my income came from people in the US.
So sensibly, my research concerns the one drug I have the most knowledge and experience with, Viagra and its generic equivalents. The following has been revealed, in my opinion, with regard to the sale and importation of Viagra or versions of Generic Viagra and the shipping thereof directly to the USERS of the medication:
Again, I stress, this is certainly of no legal value or use as I am NOT a qualified legal advisor.
Firstly, it is, and has been for some time, quite legal for individuals to import, either personally or by mail up to a 90 day supply of any prescription drug for which they have a need. Up until the Internet and Online Pharmacies became available, a patient would need to physically go overseas to effect such a transaction and importation but now, of course, it can be arranged in seconds online. Consequently, I see no problem with legalities in this regard at all, so long as the supply does not exceed 90 days for the individual and there is a valid need and a valid prescription for the Viagra (or Generic Viagra).
I have found that even if a person is unfortunate enough to have their medication ‘seized’ by Customs, all they need to do is prove that the drug is for their personal use and the quantity does not exceed a 90 day supply and the package will be given over to the individual (hopefully with an apology…). So, in my view, shipping Viagra or generic Viagra directly to individuals who have personally arranged for up to a 90 day supply to be sent, is not illegal as far as my research has been able to ascertain.
Naturally, none of this pertains to ‘controlled substances’ such as opiates and tranquillizers etc. Essentially those considered overly dangerous drugs or drugs of addiction. Apart from the fact that these drugs are generally NOT obtained in 90 day supplies, they also have special regulations and certain authority needs to be granted for extended use of these drugs.
A quick word on the quality, safety and controls regarding generic drugs from overseas.
There has been much ‘hoo-ha’ from the naysayer about the quality and even safety of EVERY overseas drug. I wonder how people from the UK, Australia, Japan, Europe and Asia manage to get better when they are sick, if this is actually the case?? Are Americans the only people in the world that can obtain a pure pharmaceutical when they are in need of medication?? Of course, it’s not the case at all. Anyone who simply does not trust overseas drugs because they ‘COME FROM OVERSEAS’ is some kind of idiot. In fact, many of the medications sold in the US through ‘bricks and mortar’ Pharmacies actually come from overseas. Also, in many cases, the ingredients come from such countries as India, Europe, and China etc.
Pharmaceuticals from virtually all countries are subject to the same sort of controls that the US FDA enforce. In fact, in India, they have their own authority, surprisingly enough, called the FDA… In the very few countries that may not have such an agency, W.H.O. (the World Health Organization) ensures the quality, safety and correct dosages etc.
Most people SHOULD know that the likes of W.H.O, the RED CROSS and WORLD VISION etc make use of generic drugs, all the time, in order to greatly reduce their drug costs.
Of course, as with everything, there is an immoral element that will try to take advantage of a booming industry with forgeries or poor quality products etc. However, for the most part, the generic Viagra (and other drugs) sold through 99% of Online Pharmacies are in every way as good as the brand name Viagra. As usual, this tiny minority casts doubt over a perfectly legitimate industry.
It’s unfortunate that there are many, many people in developed countries like the US that are unable to access the drugs they need because of financial constraints. Online Pharmacies together with generic equivalent drugs make it possible for many of these people to gain access to proper medical treatment. Even middle-income families gain so much because of the ENORMOUS savings that can be made on just one drug. To find out more about the reasons why generic drugs are the same but so cheap, see the ‘About Generic Drugs’ feature, which is located on all of my pharmacy websites.
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