Internet prescription drug overdoses are a threat to public health in the United States. Medical malpractice and product liability suits against the internet pharmacies, physicians who prescribe without a valid physician-patient relationship, and the pharmaceutical companies themselves currently are the only effective means to halt this public health threat.
The Centers for Disease Control last week released data that indicates that "poisoning was second only to motor-vehicle crashes as a cause of death from unintentional injury in the United States." The report indicated that unintentional drug poisoning deaths increased 68% from 1999 thru 2004. This mortality rate increase was attributed primarily to deaths associated with prescription drugs. Fatal drug overdoses in teenagers and young adults soared 113 % during this same time frame.
What does this mean? Deaths from drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies, sold by pharmacies (internet and traditional), and frequently approved by physicians accounted for more accidental overdose deaths than from street drugs, such as heroin. Troubling, you bet!
According to a recent study by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, today's teens are more likely to abuse prescription and over the counter medications, than illegal drugs. These drugs can be purchased over the internet or over the counter. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University reported in 2006 that 9 out of 10 internet sites selling controlled prescription drugs do NOT require a prescription.
The current president of CASA and former U.S. Secretary of H.E.W. recently stated: "Any child can get, without prescription, a highly addictive controlled substance like OxyContin, Valium and Ritalin from drug pushers." Despite Congressional hearing, CASA reports and increased attention in the press, these drugs continue to be as easy to buy over the internet as candy. Other CASA findings indicate that Xanax and Valium are the most frequently offered controlled prescription drugs over the Internet.