Commentary

Unsolicited health, medicine plans can be scams

Getting old is not for sissies. You need to be tough to get through all the aches and pains Ole Father Time brings.

A salesman calls and offers you a drug plan that will save you money. You can enroll immediately and the cost is close to a dollar a day.

The annual rate is $365. per year, or $389.00 in some cases. Prescription drugs are $ 5 to $10.

These salespersons claim to be from the American Medical Association, Medicare, Social Security office, or some other government office.

Con artists know, what to say and when to say it. Keep in mind, the older we are the more easily we are drawn to trusting strangers.

The Attorney General’s Office oversees programs requiring manufacturers to honestly disclose risks in taking the drugs found through research, as well as, comply ing w ith antitrust laws in marketing and pricing of prescription drugs.

The concern in recent years is the ability to purchase drugs over the internet. Many online pharmacies are located in foreign countries and can avoid the regulations imposed in the United States.

You may face some serious problems because the drugs you purchase may not have all the needed ingredients or the ingredients may differ from the label on the package.

There is another danger in dealing with foreign drug purchases. You may lose your money and not get any delivery of anything, which is probably better than damaging your health by taking substandard drugs.

You need to check the website out before you do business with them.

Use companies based in the United States and approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP).

The NA BP has its verif ied internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program. You can go to www.vipps.com for more information.

Watch for these red f lags. A company should clearly state its physical location or give its name and license number of affiliated pharmacists, and the states which issued the license.

Also be on guard if the caller prescribes medicine using a questionnaire from you or a brief telephone conversation.

Under Texas law, these consultations may be illegal. In some cases you might have someone selling the drug to you without a prescription.

Plain and simple, it is illegal to purchase controlled substances without a prescription.

If you need to verify products, buy medications online, or other updates, call the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (512) 305- 8000 or go to www.tsbp.state. tx.us.

You can also call the U. S. Food and Drug Administration at (888) INFO-FDA (888-463- 6332)

You can reduce your telephone calls, if you place your phone number on the Do Not Call list. The telemarketers, by law, must drop you from their client lists.

The Do Not Ca ll Reg ist r y number is 1-800-382-1222 or go online to: www.donotcall.gov. ted@myalpha.net


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2011-11-03 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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