Looks can be deceiving. If something looks like the real thing and sounds like the real thing, but is offered at a mere fraction of the normal cost…well if you aren’t initially suspicious, maybe it’s time to start asking yourself, “okay what’s the catch?”
There is a time to be trusting but when it comes to buying Viagra and other medications online, it pays to start off as a skeptic. After all, this concerns your health, it’s not like buying a Prada on Canal Street in Chinatown for example. You buy the bag because you are told “it’s real,” days later the “designer” bag nearly crumbles as the cheap imitation leather and stitching falls apart. Well you bought it dirt cheap and guess what? It is cheap.
While that can be a real bummer – the whole fake “generic” Viagra thing…much bigger deal.
Counterfeit Viagra is no joke, it’s illegal and it can have terrible consequences on your health. I know I personally am sick and tired of emptying out my spam folder, constantly clearing out the clutter of countless offers for “Viagra.” I put this in quotes because regardless of the claims, chances are the only similarity between the genuine Pfizer product and the ones offered in spammy emails is the name.
This week, an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle really put the whole magnitude of the industry into tangible terms. According to a source from the article, pharmaceutical counterfeiters can make $450,000 from a mere $1,000 in seed money. To put that in perspective, the article compares this to the profits of those who peddle heroin, saying that a $1,000 seed will only yield up to possibly $20,000.
This month has marked a large victory in the war on counterfeits for Pfizer. Gone are the days when the largest drug manufacturer left the matter of catching counterfeiters up to local authorities. Now Pfizer is dealing with the matter head-on and discovered their first large counterfeiter in the process.
An article in Bloomberg Businessweek reports the story of one man, Martin Hickman, who made quite a killing off his illegal business. In fact, when Pfizer spies (formerly U.S. Customs officals) caught him, he was living a merry life of crime in his Spanish Villa, alongside his frivolous purchases, including a diamond-encrusted Rolex watch. Apparently his brief, 3-month stint in jail in 2007 for trademark infringement did nothing to curb his ways. According to the Bloomberg article, the new method of catching criminals is really starting to pay off, so far recovering nearly $5 million.
So aside from the fact that it is illegal, why exactly is buying these pills so bad?
1. Many of these counterfeits are marketed as “generic Viagra.” Currently there is no FDA-approved generic version, which means that these pills are not regulated at all. Often, the quest to make a near-identical lookalike means adding ingredients that should never be ingested in the first place. According to one report, many fake medications include things like boric acid, cement dust, road paint, chalk and brick dust, nickel and arsenic. If the active ingredient, sildenafil citrate, is found in these pills at all, it is often in trace amounts or in the wrong chemical combination, rendering it virtually useless.
2. Counterfeiters usually illegally smuggle their fake Viagra stashes into the U.S. Many times the money made from their illegal activities goes to support other criminal activity.
3. When a site does not require any type of medical assessment, massive health complications can result with any type of prescription-only medication. While it may seem convenient and easy to just order quickly with a click of the mouse, an online medical assessment reviewed by a licensed physician is the safest way to purchase medication online.
4. These scandalous companies make it more difficult for legitimate online pharmacies to operate. When operated correctly, buying Viagra online offers patients privacy, convenience and a lower cost alternative to going in to the doctor’s office and having a relatively uncomfortable conversation. In fact, according to research from the University of Utah and published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, an online medical assessment can actually be safer than the traditional in-office visit.
Some telltale signs that an online pharmacy is not legit (and neither is the medication they claim is the “real thing”):
* Viagra is offered in “quick dissolve” or “soft tabs,” neither of these are produced by Pfizer
* Claims to be a cheaper “generic” version
* Offers medication without a prescription
Hopefully with Pfizer’s new initiatives and a collective growing knowledge of the dangers of fake medication, these criminal counterfeits will find that crime truly doesn’t pay.
KwikMed.com is the ONLY company currently granted regulatory approval to prescribe Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Propecia and Chantix online. All prescriptions are monitored by licensed physicians, overseen by a regulatory board and all pills are genuine, domestically manufactured and name brand products.