I can haz Proscar?
February 1, 2009 6:28 PM   Subscribe

What's the real deal with offshore "no prescription needed" pharmacies? Which ones (if any) are legit?

Okay, the anon is probably overkill, but it's for reasons of vanity. Basically, I'm looking for a way to get cheap-ish Proscar to cut up and take as a substitute for Propecia (hair loss drug; same as Proscar, but in a smaller dose) without going 10 rounds with my somewhat conservative doctor. I've been looking at offshore "no scrip needed" pharmacies, and want to give one a shot. But I'm worried that a) the one I pick will be a scam, or b) the one I pick will be legit, but my order won't reach me.

Googling around hasn't done much good. Have any mefites had luck (good or bad) with any of these services? Any other tips?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
A friend assures me that Inhousepharmacy is very reliable.
posted by specialfriend at 6:38 PM on February 1, 2009


You might want to also be concerned that the drug you receive will not be the drug you requested or not a pharmaceutical grade--I will be interested to see the responses to this question
posted by rmhsinc at 6:49 PM on February 1, 2009


I've used InhousePharmacy with excellent results.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:05 PM on February 1, 2009


The moment a pharmacy starts doling out prescription drugs without prescriptions, it ceases to be legit. Period.

The DEA is not pleased with the proliferation of such operations. There is a crackdown! Your drugs might be counterfeit! You could be supporting terrorism!

Perhaps more compellingly, Proscar is not something to fuck around with.

According to the prescribing information:

You must see your doctor regularly. While taking PROSCAR, you must have regular checkups. Follow your doctor's advice about when to have these checkups.

• About side effects. Like all prescription drugs, PROSCAR may cause side effects. Side effects due to PROSCAR may include impotence (an inability to have an erection) or less desire for sex. Some men taking PROSCAR may have changes or problems with ejaculation, such as a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. This decrease in the amount of semen does not appear to interfere with normal sexual function. In some cases these side effects went away while the patient continued to take PROSCAR.

In addition, some men may have breast enlargement and/or tenderness. You should promptly report to your doctor any changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge. Some men have reported allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, and swelling of the lips and face. Rarely, testicular pain has been reported.

If a woman who is pregnant with a male baby absorbs the active ingredient in PROSCAR after oral use or through the skin, it may cause the male baby to be born with abnormalities of the sex organs.

[Emphasis added to highlight the various risks to man parts, something I have found to be very compelling when dealing with male patients.]

So, yeah. Don't do it.

But, in addition to hair loss, it sounds like you have another very serious condition. It's called yourdoctorisanassitis. Just because it's really dumb to buy drugs offline without a prescription doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to give your hair follicles a fighting chance. If you can, find a new doctor who will be more understanding.

IANAD. IANAP. I am a little bit of an ass when talking about offshore pharmacies.
posted by charmcityblues at 8:00 PM on February 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Looking at the prices at Inhousepharmacy I get better prices at my local drug store here in Vancouver
posted by SatansCabanaboy at 8:23 PM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Before the election at least, one point in Obama's plan as posted on his website was to reduce health-care costs by legalizing ordering from Canadian pharmacies.

It'll be interesting to see where that goes.

On another note, ordering from the grey market probably terminates any kind of manufacturer liability if anything goes wrong when you are taking the medication.
posted by ebellicosa at 8:27 PM on February 1, 2009


Thirding inhousepharmacy.com
posted by Violet Hour at 8:40 PM on February 1, 2009


Thirding inhousepharmacy.com, although from second-hand experience only.
posted by Joh at 9:06 PM on February 1, 2009


Um, fourthing (my fault for not refreshing!)
posted by Joh at 9:06 PM on February 1, 2009


I too recommend Inhousepharmacy.
posted by airplain at 9:28 PM on February 1, 2009


My understanding of the 'the deal' is that they actually do issue you with a prescription - and they then fill it themselves and send it to you.

So they have a doctor(s) on staff who will consult with you (by email or phone I guess) and then agree you need whatever the Rx is that you wanted in the first place.
posted by Xhris at 9:40 PM on February 1, 2009


How hard is it to get a new doctor?

Also, conservatism in a doctor is a good thing. Fucking up your body can be difficult to undo.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:54 PM on February 1, 2009


Yeah, dude, so where do you live again? If you live in a state with a PMP law, then you know it'll get transcribed eventually into your medical history. Right now the big deal is pain meds, but unless there's a sudden reversal, it's only going to get worse. Everything I have read online (especially in the drugbuyers forum) seems to point to this gradually including not just the "bad" drugs, but possibly all drugs that are prescribed by any NROP, IOP, OCS, etc. in your name. So basically, if you live in one of those 38 states, they will know you're getting it.

May not be a big deal, just be careful, dude. Getting a seizure letter from the Customs people can be a little disconcerting, if not downright scary. I realize you're asking about something relatively benign, but there is no such thing these days as "ordering stuff off the internet and nobody will ever know."

I'm giving you worst-case scenario here. Find a better doctor. Also, stuff is expensive to ship and can take months. By then, surely you'll find a doctor who'll prescribe it to you with your insurance covering it... right?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:02 PM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here is an advert (created by Pfizer with support from MHRA and others) that says medicine bought online could contain rat poison! On the website for the campaign it states: "It’s estimated that between 50 and 90 per cent of prescription-only medicines sold by unregulated websites are counterfeit."
posted by JonB at 11:20 PM on February 1, 2009


"How hard is it to get a new doctor?" "Find a better doctor."

it all depends on the OP's situation - but i know for me, there's one clinic in town where i can see a doctor for less than 50 bucks a visit (and i think they just closed down) the other clinic costs $150 just to see the dr. that doesn't cover any other costs (blood work, urine tests, things like that). i have asthma. clinic doctors will only prescribe me one or (if i'm really really lucky and pathetic) two inhalers. i can't get one of those wonderful "manage your asthma" medicines, i can only get rescue inhalers and those will last me 3 months at most. so, 4 times a year if i want to breathe, i have to go to the doctor. that gets us up to 600 bucks. to add insult to injury - tree huggers just made my cheap inhaler quadruple in price to $48 a pop. for those playing along at home, at 4 inhalers a year (when 6 would be better) i'm at 800 bucks.

the medical system in the US makes people have to make all sorts of decisions that aren't the best. i'm glad you asked this question, anon - i'll have to use this info one day i'm sure.
posted by nadawi at 12:14 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness dude, this is one step up from buying a television from a guy in a van in a parking lot, only maybe without the step up.

If your own doctor is going to be a pain about this, what has been said about a different doctor.

If you're happy with your regular doctor except for stuff like this you could always find a "writer", a doctor who will pretty much write anyone a prescription for anything, and get him to set you up. I'm not saying I think this is a sparkling plan but it's probably a better idea than the no prescription web site. Also, your name might end up on the wrong kind of list if they go an pull his license shortly after he writes you a script for a big bag of codeine, so I wouldn't got there, either.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:16 AM on February 2, 2009


Yeah, dude, so where do you live again? If you live in a state with a PMP law, then you know it'll get transcribed eventually into your medical history. Right now the big deal is pain meds, but unless there's a sudden reversal, it's only going to get worse. Everything I have read online (especially in the drugbuyers forum) seems to point to this gradually including not just the "bad" drugs, but possibly all drugs that are prescribed by any NROP, IOP, OCS, etc. in your name. So basically, if you live in one of those 38 states, they will know you're getting it.

How would it end up in the OP's medical history if he ordered drugs from a foreign pharmacy? There's no prescription and communication with the state. At any rate, here is the FDA's page on the subject.
posted by Violet Hour at 1:08 AM on February 2, 2009


nadawi - you should be able to get your medicine at walmart - for 5 bucks. Go to the doctor get a prescription and keep filling it. I also would get an inhaled corticosteroid.
posted by zia at 4:12 AM on February 2, 2009



Nadawi and others, search AskMe for other previous answers to this question.
posted by JimN2TAW at 6:40 AM on February 2, 2009


VioletHour, if he gets the scrip from an OCS (online consultancy pharmacy) that is within the United States, it WILL fall under the purview of the PMP law. I was assured this by a friend who has been getting treatment for obesity meds from a doctor in Florida. He will only treat her now if she flies in and gets the prescriptions every time... last time, they would not fill her prescription in her own state because the scrip was written by an out-of-state physician.

If the OP can't find an offshore reputable pharmacy to write a scrip for Proscar, there are many OCS's that will. However, those WILL get recorded and I was just giving a heads-up that the more reputable places (i.e., not rip-offs) end up being the kind of thing that DO get recorded by PMPs. Knowledge is power, I'm simply trying to better empower the OP about what he's up against. Is this specifically what he asked? Not really, but it gives a broader, more conclusive view of his possible options.

Not all foreign pharmacies are NROPs, some are OCS sites. I thought the OP should know the difference.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:54 AM on February 2, 2009


Here is an advert (created by Pfizer with support from MHRA and others) that says medicine bought online could contain rat poison! On the website for the campaign it states: "It’s estimated that between 50 and 90 per cent of prescription-only medicines sold by unregulated websites are counterfeit."

Not that the basic idea isn't valid, but rat poison? If Pfizer says it (about an issue that costs them lots of money no less), then I'm pretty unlikely to believe it.
posted by cmoj at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2009


Please take a look at the Drugbuyers forum that unicorn on the cob linked to. You may have to dig a bit, but there is a lot of good information on there.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:47 AM on February 2, 2009


@zia - the 5-15 dollar albuterol inhaler contained CFCs and were required to be phased out by dec 31, 2008. The new inhalers are all patented and will continue to be that way until at least 2012. walmart is where i got my new proair inhaler. it cost $48.
posted by nadawi at 12:32 PM on February 2, 2009


Not that the basic idea isn't valid, but rat poison? If Pfizer says it (about an issue that costs them lots of money no less), then I'm pretty unlikely to believe it.
The Pfizer report attributes the following quote to Wendy Greenall, Senior Chemist at the Pfizer Counterfeit Lab, Sandwich, UK:
Counterfeit medicine can also contain high levels of toxic solvents. Rat poison, for example, has been found in a counterfeit blood pressure lowering treatment, while boric acid and lead based road paint have both been found in a counterfeit medicine used to ease severe pain.
I suppose it's possible that Wendy is lying or has been misquoted, but isn't it more likely that some counterfeit blood pressure medicine somewhere contained rat poison? The rat poison could have been brodifacoum which is described as super-warfarin (the latter lists low blood pressure as a side effect).
posted by JonB at 1:34 PM on February 2, 2009


JonB: She probably isn't lying, but neither is she presenting an unbiased set of facts. It's just as accurate for me to say that brand-name American pharmaceuticals have been found to contain cyanide, resulting in multiple deaths.
posted by Justinian at 3:08 PM on February 2, 2009


Any other recommendations beyond inhousepharmacy? They don't carry the prescription skin cream I want.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:17 PM on February 2, 2009


freedom-pharmacy.com
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:27 PM on February 2, 2009


« Older Emancipated Minor in Ontario, Canada   |   Typical things said on Japanese shows? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.