If the high cost of some prescription drugs is prompting you to shop around and look for bargain prices, you need to beware, says Dr. Michael J. Lacqua, a plastic/reconstructive surgeon, hand surgeon and board certified wound care physician on Staten Island.
“If the medication is not authentic, it could harm you,” he warns. In doing so, Dr. Lacqua is echoing the FBI in its alert about the dangers of counterfeit prescription drugs: Not only are they are illegal – they may be hazardous to your health.
According to the federal intelligence and law-enforcement agency, such drugs are “fake medicines not produced to the pharmacological specifications of the drugs they claim to be.”
The FBI further explains that “counterfeit prescription drugs may be contaminated or contain the wrong ingredients or no active ingredient. They also could have the right active ingredient but with the wrong dosage.”
To help consumers avoid the dangers of fake prescription drugs masquerading as legitimate medicines, Dr. Lacqua is sharing these five tips from the FBI:
- LOOK IT OVER
Be mindful of appearance — closely examine the packaging and lot numbers of prescription drugs and be alert to any changes from one prescription to the next.
- ASK AN EXPERT
Consult your pharmacist or physician if your prescription drug looks suspicious.
- GET HELP RIGHT AWAY
Alert your pharmacist and physician immediately if your medication causes adverse side effects or if your condition does not improve.
- BE CAREFUL BUYING ONLINE
Use caution when purchasing drugs on the Internet. Do not purchase medications from unlicensed online distributors or those who sell medications without a prescription. Reputable online pharmacies will have a seal of approval called the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (VIPPS), provided by the Association of Boards of Pharmacy in the United States.
- BE SUSPICIOUS
Be aware that product promotions or cost reductions and other “special deals” may be associated with counterfeit product promotion.
ABOUT THE PRACTICE OF MICHAEL J. LACQUA, M.D.
Staten Island-based Michael J. Lacqua, M.D., is a preeminent plastic/reconstructive surgeon, hand surgeon and board certified wound care expert. Dr. Lacqua’s practice administers experienced, round-the-clock plastic surgery response to hand injuries and injuries requiring stitches – throughout Staten Island and the Southwest corridor of Brooklyn.
Treatment and surgical procedures following an accident are performed in either of Dr. Lacqua’s two offices (Staten Island, or Bay Ridge, Brooklyn), or at a local hospital.
Helping diminish the financial angst of those dealing with a sudden injury, the surgical practice works in tandem with patients and their insurance companies with a goal of providing optimum care with little or no out-of-pocket expense to the patient.
CONTACT DR. LACQUA
24-Hour Telephone: 718-761-3700
Dr. Lacqua’s offices are located at:
- 2372 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314
- 9602 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
On the Web: www.drmichaeljlacqua.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrLacqua (@drlacqua)