Online pharmacies continue to generate fears of fraudulent scams

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned about consumers getting the wrong (and sometimes dangerous) drugs through online orders.

Consumers who thought they were purchasing sleep aids, antidepressants and other drugs over the Internet instead were shipped a powerful anti-psychotic, sending some unwitting victims to the emergency room, federal health officials warned Friday.

According to Wired's summary of an AP report:

'The FDA said it had reports of several consumers seeking emergency medical treatment for symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms and muscle stiffness after taking the pills.

The FDA used the occasion to remind consumers of the possible dangers of buying prescription drugs on the Web.

The FDA posted images of the suspect pills and their shipping packages on its Web site http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/photos/haloperidol.html - to help consumers identify any suspect product they may have ordered.'

Per Beyond Complementary Medicine, fraud control is always the first line of regulatory defense. The FDA serves the public interest in alerting consumers to these possible dangers, and providing a means of monitoring hazards. The Web makes it easy to 'go around' medical doctors, but caveat emptor applies in spades -- here is where the government regulatory tools have immense utility for the consumer.
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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.
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