Internet pharmacies have revolutionized the way of drug purchase over the past few years. In addition to absorbing copays and deductibles, beneficiaries' expenses also rise if they hit the doughnut hole” coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, exposing them to higher out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs until those reach $4,850 annually.
Mr. Haughton was unavailable Wednesday but he acknowledged to the Wall Street Journal that one of his companies, Montana Healthcare Solutions, inadvertently medications from canada distributed counterfeit Avastin in the U.S. None of the drugs came to Canada, according to the drug's manufacturer, Switzerland-based Roche Holding AG.
This has resulted in consumers turning to online pharmacies for their medical needs, and in particular pharmacies with a relationships with a physician, which allow the consumer to completely bypass the traditional brick and mortar pharmacies, with the added benefit of having their physician act as an intermediary between the consumer and the pharmacy.
The question becomes, what do you do if youíre an American and you suffer from an illness which requires you to be dependent on prescription drugs to function in your normal, productive way, and yet you canít afford the ever increasing rates that are being saddled to nearly all forms of medications.
People familiar with the practice say you generally can pass through customs without much hassle if you have no more than three months' worth of a medication, you declare it to customs agents and you show them a doctor's prescription or a personal note attesting it is for personal use, along with contact information for your physician.
While the present trend appears to be to make it illegal for a doctor to prescribe drugs without seeing the patient face-to-face there is also a move to establish rules and regulations that ensure that patients receive quality care over the Internet.
The San Diego-based operation required individuals to complete a $35 "doctor consultation" survey before receiving the prescriptions, but the survey was never shown to a health professional to evaluate whether a safety risk existed, the paper says (Dickson, 2005).
Hospital pharmacists may therefore be involved in activities such as reviewing drug charts, medicines reconciliation, therapeutic drug monitoring, drug use evaluation, adverse drug reaction reporting, medication counselling and, increasingly, prescribing, again depending on the provincial laws.