Americans pay a steep price for “brand name” drugs, yet our generics are among the cheapest in the world. But, we also have know that our very same “brand name” drugs are cheaper when purchased almost anywhere else in the world. As the internet (some of us really were around when it began- when you had to know a series of what seem like arcane numbers to reach your destination) grew and got simpler, we found that we could buy those drugs for less money than we could from our local pharmacy. But should we?
I am not talking logistics here. I am talking about the fact that many of these “brand name” drugs are counterfeit. So, buying them- and taking them- puts one at real risk. That alone did not stop people from attempting to buy these drugs (after all, I must get 100 ‘spammails’ a day offering me Viagra). No, I think the realization that some companies from certain countries were getting very creative with their ingredients and killing people spawned the drop-off in this risky behavior.
But, the problems associated with using drugs or medical devices purchased overseas seems to have escaped the concern of our young women and girls. The new craze (and, in this case, the word is a double-entendre) is to purchase special contact lenses from Asia. They don’t improve one’s vision. Instead, these “circle” lenses (colored contacts) make the eyes appear larger (they cover the iris and whites of the eye). Females (it is virtually a single sex phenomenon) are risking significant eye injury (depriving the eye of oxygen, infection, corneal scratches, among the many choices for failure).
Forget the fact that it is illegal to sell contact lenses (cosmetic OR corrective) without a prescription. That does not deter these foreign entities- because many understand that this is not (yet) a deportable offense; others because their home country has no such scruples.
But, let’s not just pick on the females. We have tons of males (and, unfortunately, females) buying ridiculous drinks. Energy drinks- Jolt, Red Bull, Rockstar. Gatorade for the sedentary or barely active. (They do augment our obesity, though.) And, now, a new slew of craziness- Snoozeberry, iChill, Unwind among the many “relaxation drinks” hitting the marketplace.
Get real- unless you are running a marathon or involved with at least 60 minutes of vigorous exercise, your electrolytes are not going to need replenishment (nor do you need the sugar). The energy/relaxation drinks are also not regulated (no they don’t cure jet lag or improve concentration)- and have no scientific basis. You want to relax- try warm skim milk (a lot healthier and a ton cheaper). You want caffeine- try tea or coffee (not much better, but cheaper).