Websites Offer Prescriptions Online; Some Docs Concerned

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Let's face it, when you're sick, you may not always want to get up and drag yourself to the doctor's office.

However, now some internet websites such as MyFirstPharma.com are bringing the doctor's office to your home by offering prescription medications without needing a prescription.

The online instructions are simple, fill out an online questionaire, a doctor then reviews it and can write you a prescription. Their pharmacy then fills it and sends it right to your front door.

Sound to good to be true?

Before you rush to the computer, some doctors are saying beware.

"It's actually very scary for this type of website to actually exist. You have no way of knowing the physician that is prescribing this to you, or if they're actually a physician," said Dr. Garth Morgan of University Family Medicine. "Looking at the website there is nothing on there that tells you who the doctors are that are prescribing it."

Many Americans use the internet to purchase prescribed medications because of cost and convenience. However, officials say being diagnosed from these sites could create problems for the consumer later on.

"Medicines on the site are addictive, medicines on there have a black market value, and people could sell them on the black market," said Morgan. "If people get on these sites and start ordering these medications and taking them incorrectly they're going to be coming to the emergency rooms or my office and I won't have an idea what they're taking."

Certain drugs also need to follow specific guidelines.Dr. Morgan was shocked to see a drug such as Propetia offered on the site.

"It's not a problem for men but women can't even touch the foil packet where the medicine came from, because it's known to have a significant risk of birth defects," said Morgan.

How easy it is to receive the medication once it's requested remains unclear. Health experts say in the long run seeing the doctor face to face is always your best bet.

"The medicines that are meant for prescriptions mean you have to have someone follow over you, look over your shoulder, work with you," said Morgan. "It doesn't mean it's just an inconvenience that you have to have a piece of paper to get the medication."

MyFirstPharma.com couldn't be reached for comment.

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