Free Market Prescription Drugs

An apparent feud between two black market pharmacies has shed light on a shady global industry. “Rx-Promotion and SpamIt probably are responsible for upward of 50 or 60 percent of spam that you and I got in our inboxes over the last five years,” said Brian Krebs, a cyber-security reporter…

The spammers are typically independent contractors paid on commission by the pharmacy for the sales they generate — something like 30 or 40 percent of the purchase price.

But once a customer goes to the pharmacy site and chooses his or her drug of choice, the pharmacy takes over. It finds someone to process the credit card payment, which is difficult given the nature of the transaction. Then, it has to get the drugs to the customer.

“They don’t actually typically warehouse any drugs themselves,” Savage said. “So they’ll contract with third parties who have access, usually, to generic drug manufacturing in India and China.”

In the course of Savage’s research, he and his team placed over 800 test orders and typically received their chosen medications in a timely fashion.

“We’ve maybe only had one time where we didn’t get anything,” said Savage. They tested some of the drugs they received, and all had the proper amount of the active ingredient.

Savage says the vast majority of customers are ordering erectile dysfunction drugs. Others order painkillers or stimulants for recreational use. But up to 15 percent of orders come from people seeking medications to treat chronic health conditions, likely because they can’t afford to purchase them through legal avenues.

Source: NPR report.

Comments (8)

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  1. Studebaker says:

    Wow! This is great news! I assumed almost all the online pharmacies were scams — especially those that spammed by email. The online pharmacy I always used recently closed so I’m in the market for another one. It’s convenient placing an order and having a drug arrive in the mail two weeks later. It sure beats having to explain to a doctor why you want a given drug.

  2. Neil Caffrey says:

    If I’m not mistaken this is illegal? If it is, then it’s encouraging despite the obvious ethical problems.

  3. Jeremy says:

    This all sounds great. However, I’m curious to know how many people would actually trust an online service called SpamIt or Rx-Promotion. I know I wouldn’t.

  4. Dr. James Franco says:

    So it is not just spam, there is a legitimate service behind some of them? Does this mean that I should respond to this Nigerian prince? I heard he needed my help getting his riches to the States…

  5. Evan Carr says:

    A pill-poppers delight. Who needs acne medicine when you can go straight for the presciption strength opiates! How much of this medication winds up in the pockets of pill pushers on the street corners of inner cities? How much of this medication is used in bait-and-switch schemes?

    If the costs of pharmeceutical research and development were spread out more equitably throughout the world, not just placed on the United States alone, perhaps drug companies would not feel the need to recoup most of their investment from the US market and lower prices. Lower prices would eliminate some of these scam companies and expand access and channels of legitimate pharmeceuticals.

  6. Mulligan says:

    It’ll all be different when we ban guns, just you wait and see.

  7. Nicole Glassman says:

    Premature ejaculation (PE; also known as rapid ejaculation) is the most common type of sexual dysfunction in men younger than 40 years. Most professionals who treat premature ejaculation define this condition as the occurrence of ejaculation prior to the wishes of both sexual partners. This broad definition thus avoids specifying a precise duration for sexual relations and reaching a climax, which is variable and depends on many factors specific to the individuals engaging in intimate relations. An occasional instance of premature ejaculation might not be cause for concern, but, if the problem occurs with more than 50% of attempted sexual relations, a dysfunctional pattern usually exists for which treatment may be appropriate.

  8. The Native Indian says:

    Hi, if they provide access to cheap medication, most with the necessary active ingredients, I welcome it. This is probably the best alternative for certain work-class individuals.