How to Know if You're Getting the Right Medicine at the Pharmacy - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

How to Know if You're Getting the Right Medicine at the Pharmacy

June 9, 2006 -- Posted at 3:35 p.m. CDT 

JONESBORO, AR -- Over the past few years, the Federal Drug Administration has had multiple problems with counterfeit drugs.

Friday, the FDA announced new ways to make sure the prescriptions you get aren't counterfeit.

The FDA will now require a more thorough tracking system for prescription medications.

"Make sure that your pharmacy is reputable. It doesn't matter if it's a chain or independent pharmacy, we're all subject to being able to purchase medications from, what I call, the ‘black market'," said Pharmacist Ken Gibson of Gibson's Pharmacy.

Ken Gibson says that over the past several years, counterfeiters have gotten good.

"Counterfeiters have done a really good job at presenting the same tablet color, same tablet shape, and all the markings on it," said Gibson.

Drug company Pfizer has taken extra precautions in making sure you're getting the right medications by putting special markings on their packages. Three of Pfizer's most popular drugs now have those extra markings

"That is to show the pharmacist that this is a brand name drug, directly from the manufacturer," said Gibson.

Down the street at Stone's Pharmacy, Pharmacist Ed Arnold said that, like Gibson's, they buy drugs straight from a wholesaler. That wholesaler guarantees the pharmacy is receiving the right thing.

"There's not any possibility that illegitimate sources can infiltrate into that type of scenario," said Pharmacist Ed Arnold.

Arnold says first and foremost you have to trust your source.

"The whole seller we purchase our medications from have given me the assurance that the manufacturer is a legitimate source," said Arnold.

What are some of the most popular counterfeited drugs?

"Lipitor is certainly one, because it's the most prescribed medication worldwide. So, therefore, if you're going to counterfeit a drug, counterfeit one that's going to be used," said Gibson.

Other drugs that are popular among counterfeiters include Viagra and Procrit.

For more information about counterfeit drugs log onto the FDA's website:

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