While Internet ads offer great deals on prescription drugs, a study raises concerns about on-line pharmacies. The lead author says Iowans shouldn’t stop using the websites for cheap drugs — just proceed with caution and common sense. Dr. Constance Fung says some websites dispense prescription drugs without a valid physician order. Dr. Fung says it’s of particular concern because some drugs react very badly with each other — and can be deadly. She also has concerns about patients who visit with “cyberdocs” at on-line pharmacies but never see a physician face to face. Still, Fung says on-line pharmacies do have some benefits.She says on-line pharmacies seem helpful for patients who have a difficult time getting to a pharmacy and some patients prefer to have their prescriptions delivered by mail because they’re concerned about privacy. Fung says it’s important for doctors to become familiar with issues related to on-line pharmacies. She recommends talking with your doctor to determine which sites seem legitimate and which sites they might avoid.
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