Due to their abilities to help slow down the growth of existing blood clots, as well as reduce the risk of further clots, strokes, and heart attacks, blood thinners are among the most prescribed medicines in America.
For many, not taking blood thinners can mean serious complications or even death.
For 149 Americans in 2008, it was taking them that led to their deaths.
The blood thinner heparin, made by Baxter International, was found to be the cause of the deaths as it contained counterfeit ingredients from China. A federal investigation that followed the deaths, some of them international, uncovered a vast network of unregulated suppliers who may have intentionally used the contaminated and counterfeit ingredients to save on costs.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), counterfeit prescription drugs is one of the most dangerous and common scams that impact American safety. And as the elderly typically take more prescription drugs than other segments of our society, due to illnesses, ailments, and diseases that come with aging, they suffer most of the consequences caused by counterfeit drugs.
The FBI has the following helpful tips to avoid prescription drug scams:
- 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.
- Consult your pharmacist or physician if your prescription drug looks suspicious.
- Alert your pharmacist and physician immediately if your medication causes adverse side effects or if your condition does not improve.
- 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 aware that product promotions or cost reductions and other “special deals” may be associated with counterfeit product promotion.
Finally, if you are encountering difficulties following or undertaking any of these tips, you may benefit from the help of a dedicated and experienced professional aide. To learn more about how an aide can help, click here!
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