SAN DIEGO, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers are turning to alternative sources to buy their medications. These sources include the internet and/or pharmacies that are compounding medicines. Unfortunately, the consumer has little knowledge about all the hazards to one's health with these alternatives. "It is critical that your doctor is aware of all the medications you are taking and confirms their origins," said Dr. Sandy T. Feldman of ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center.
Medicines being sold on the internet are often counterfeits and these fakes are now turning up in legitimate supply chains such as eye doctors' office.1 Just last week, the FDA shut down 4,100 internet sites and seized more than $10 million of goods in an effort to protect the public from fake and illegal medications.2
A recent outbreak of a rare form of fungal meningitis is being linked to a spinal steroid injection for back pain, and is currently being investigated by the FDA.3 This, is another possible example of medicine made up by that is not 100% in pure form.
The eye medication, Avastin, used to treat macular degeneration developed notoriety for being the first counterfeit medication to be reported in a journal with serious eye infections.4 Other eye infections with this same medication have also turned up from repackaged medicine. 5
Dr. Feldman reminds consumers that it is critical to use healthy skepticism and safe habits when buying medicines. "Proper sources of medications are very important to preventing serious eye infections and overall health related injuries. "Medications may not contain active ingredients or may even have infectious agents," continued Dr. Feldman.
Here are some safe tips to know about medicines from Dr. Sandy T. Feldman of ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center.
- Obtain a valid prescription for your medication and contact lenses from your eyecare provider.
- Buy medications from reputable sources. Always look for the expiration date on the medication.
- If you seek to buy medications over the internet, make sure that the source is located in the U.S. If a physical address is missing, there is a greater than 50% chance that medicines may be counterfeit. Look for the Seal of the Verified Internet Phamacy Practice Sites [VIPPS].
- If you buy medication from a compounding pharmacy, make sure it is certified by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board [PCAB] and contains a "clean room" which is sterile in which medications are made up.
- Beware of math errors that can be made by patients, caregivers or technicians making up compounded medications.6
If you feel that your medicine is not working or might be causing you a problem, contact your doctor immediately.
1. Jackson G, Patel S, Khan. Assessing the problem of counterfeit medications in the U.K. Intl J Clin Practice. 2012;66:241.
4. Sun, X. et al. N Engl J Med 2011;365(4):378–379.
Counterfeit Avastin Sparks Concerns. http://www.aao.org/aao/publications/eyenet/201111/news.cfm
6. Dr. Yin. Parents' poor math skills may lead to medication errors. Am Acad Pediatrics http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Parents-Poor-Math-Skills-May-Lead-to-Medication-Errors.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000
As a leader in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Feldman has participated in FDA clinical studies of custom LASIK. Currently, she is involved in studies of a new treatment to halt the progression of keratoconus, a disease in which the fitting of contact lenses can become challenging. In 2009, she was one of ten laser eye care providers in the U.S. to receive the Goldline Award as seen Forbes Magazine. In 2010, she was awarded the Silver Elite RealSelf award, and in 2011, she was awarded Top Doc San Diego and was inducted into the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons. Dr. Feldman is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Clearview Eye and Laser Medical Center
6255 Lusk Blvd, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92121
SOURCE ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center