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Are Overseas Pharmacies an Option?

When we hear the term “overseas pharmacy” or “online pharmacy”, we tend to think of a website that is located in either Canada or Mexico. Whether we have frequented these sites ourselves or not, we know someone who has. Regardless of your age—be it 28, 48, 68 or older—you have been in any one of these scenarios:

You are self-employed and your health insurance is private. Already paying “through the nose”, you are one to use your prescription benefits. You’re on a maintenance drug (perhaps a statin, allergy or asthma medication or one for repeated heartburn), and after about a year of using their benefits, you are informed that your drug is no longer covered. You’re given the recommendation to try a generic, a substitute (which will surely be discontinued from their formulary as well) or pay out of pocket.

You work for a company who provides benefits, but as all companies are feeling the economic crunch, they have started heavily scrutinizing the drugs they will carry and yours was among the many that were cut from their formulary. Or, you have been asked to start paying a good portion of both your insurance and your prescription meds.

You are on Medicaid or Medicare and even with supplemental insurance, you are finding it more and more difficult to afford the drugs you need. Like the majority of baby boomers, you are feeling the squeeze. How much more can you stretch your pension and social security benefits when they are not increasing along with the rise in inflation?

What if, given the survivalist that you are, you are thinking ahead and want to get a year’s worth of prescriptions to avoid any of the above scenarios from affecting you? Or you are considering traveling for an extended period of time and your doctor won’t write a Rx for more than six months? In fact, most are reluctant to write a script for more than three months at a time. Sure, it might be prudent to want to check and see that your statins are the correct dosage or confirm that you still need a beta-blocker or baby aspirin therapy. But if you have been on the same allergy and/or asthma medication for the last 10 years and it’s highly unlikely that you are going to switch to a new one of your own volition, like all of us, you wonder why do doctors do this?

While there are greedy practitioners out there that just want to make sure they can bill you every three or six months for an office visit, the vast majority of doctors are operating under strict government guidelines. The heavy-handed arm of government control has made many doctors wary of doing anything that will subject them to scrutiny for prescription abuse by their patients. The litigious nature of the society we live in makes that wariness even more exacerbated.

Regardless of the reason, you are still stuck. You want to get more than a 90-day supply of your drugs or you find yourself in one of the other scenarios. What do you do?

While we want to do all we can to work within the system, oftentimes it just isn’t practical. Why not take advantage of the numerous companies who offer your medication (often at a discount from what you are currently paying).  In addition, they will deliver to your door. At this point it gets a little interesting, because many of these online outfits don’t require a prescription (because the country that is manufacturing the drug doesn’t require one) and so you are taking somewhat of a risk in ordering drugs online. For this reason, it is important to know that all Off the Grid News is doing is recognizing that you are in need of information and offering it and most importantly, we have not ordered from any of these online sources. Although they have been recommended to us, we have not necessarily ourselves used them.

About the links we are going to provide:

None claim to be an actual pharmacy, but rather access to the cheapest, readily available drugs sold globally.  This is likely rhetoric to avoid getting into legal hot water with the big pharmas, insurance companies and any federal agencies and their watchdogs.

What does this mean? For one thing, it means that your drugs are more than likely made in India. Each site claims that the drugs are regulated and approved by any of the following country’s regulatory agencies:

  • Germany
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • Hungary
  • Slovak Republic
  • India
  • UK
  • US’s FDA

How Do the Prices Compare to What You are Currently Paying?

Doing a quick scan of medications that I take, I can tell you that the prices are significantly lower than I normally pay out of pocket. An asthma and allergy sufferer, I know all too well the game insurance companies play with the meds I take regularly. Because I have to use those medications, they have long since stopped covering that one.

Generic vs. Brand Name

This will invariably be an issue whether you are purchasing online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. Unless your doctor has specifically written the prescription with the words, “Brand Name Only”, the pharmacy will fill it with a generic. The same is the case with these online companies. If they can source the generic version first, they will fill your order with one.

So, what exactly is a generic? The FDA gives patents to drugs on the day it can first be used in a clinical trial, not necessarily the first day it is sold commercially. This is the day the clock starts ticking. From that day, the drug manufacturer may be the sole maker of that particular drug in that particular formula. Other companies may compete with a similar version but not the same. After 25 years other companies, whose sole business it is to make generics, may begin selling a generic version of brand names. The majority of the time they are just watered down versions; not as effective, but safe, efficacious and far cheaper than the brand name.

What is the Final Verdict on These Companies?

As long as drug companies, insurance companies and lobbyists continue to make it difficult for us to buy our necessary medications at an affordable price in our own country, people will be forced to look to other countries to supply the same drugs. At some point it ceases to become a question of whose side of the fence you are on about healthcare (socialized vs. privatized). The fact is, every day all across America, good and hard working Americans are being squeezed.

Haven’t Tried Them, but They Look Reputable
https://www.overseasrxdrugs.com
https://www.vrdrug.com
https://www.bestpharmguide.com – Although it’s a for profit company, they claim to assist you in weeding out the baddies from the goodies of online pharmacy companies.
Best Pharma Guide’s Top Picks – They are at least worth a gander: https://www.bestpharmguide.com/top-pharmacies.html

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