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Health Agencies Update
August 22/29, 2007

Web Drugs Costly

JAMA. 2007;298(8):853. doi:10.1001/jama.298.8.853-a

Overseas Internet pharmacies attract some US consumers looking for a bargain, but many US pharmacies offer less expensive generic versions of the same drugs, according to new data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A recent FDA examination of the foreign drugs that were intercepted on their way to US consumers found that 45% of the products are available in the United States as FDA-approved generic drugs. Additionally, half of the drugs are available through national pharmacy chains that fill generic prescriptions for $4 each, significantly less than is charged by Internet pharmacies, according to the FDA. Some examples of intercepted drugs available as low-cost generics at US pharmacies are amoxicillin capsules, fluoxetine capsules, levothyroxine tablets, and warfarin tablets.