Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are Internet Pharmacies Going to Be the Next Domestic Healthcare Crisis?

By: Alan Clock, Senior Vice President, XStream Systems, Inc.

According to information from the FDA (with our thoughts in italics):

  • U.S. Consumers buy between $700 and $800 million worth of drugs per year from foreign internet pharmacies.
This is of course is an estimate and most likely a much higher figure. Given the lack of regulation, oversight and total inability to control, this is a conservative estimate at best.

  • Packages purchased by U.S. Consumers from foreign internet pharmacies will grow to an estimated 5 million in 2009 from 2 million in 2008.
Again a very high number but consider that these packages will contain multiple products and likely products with a high number of dosages.

  • Over 60% of drugs purchased from foreign Internet pharmacies are estimated to be counterfeit, fraudulent or adulterated.
This figure is an increase from 2008 of 10%. These products include non-approved generics, knock offs, semi-effective clones of real drugs with some medication, toxic substances and at best harmless placebos. Bottom line there is a high likelihood that the products bought on-line from a foreign internet site will not be the drug you purchased, totally ineffective and likely harmful to consume.

  • U.S. Consumers in 2009 will purchase and consume over 3 million counterfeit, fraudulent or adulterated medications from purchases made through foreign internet pharmacies.

This is conservative number and most likely many millions will be impacted because of the huge quantity of counterfeit product that will be consumed. Three million is just doing the math and considering that only one person will consume part of the fake medication that is coming from overseas. Most likely one package will contain multiple products and many hundreds of dosages that will be consumed by several individuals.

Given these statistics it is somewhat of a given that medications bought through foreign internet pharmacies will have a significant negative impact on healthcare in the United States in 2009. Some will not receive the proper pharmaceutical treatment that they have been prescribed while others may be ingesting toxic substances that will harm their health worsen their condition.

It is also a concern that many of these products will be introduced into the legitimate pharmaceutical supply chain through returns and unscrupulous means.

That is why XStream Systems is continuing its endorsement of consumers only buying products from providers that utilize an authentication technology in their production, distribution and dispensing. Authentication is an important component of validating the quality and efficacy of the drug so that it meets the highest quality and standards that U.S. consumers demand.

To find out more information about XStream Systems and our solutions visit us at

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