Everyday millions of people are affected by medical fraud and useless health products. Not every product offered up as medicine is FDA approved. Fraudulent cures are advertised for a lot of chronic problems especially impotence, cancer, hair loss, arthritis an even the HIV virus. The companies know that most people that have a chronic illness are looking for any ray of hope. Most of these cures don’t work and some may even do harm.

As with any product that makes claims of a healthier you should know what you’re getting into. And you should be very suspicious of products that:

•` Advertise with testimonials

•` Are not evaluated in any prominent medical journals

•` Claim benefits that seem too good to be true.

•` Are available only though the mail.

•` Have a multi level marketing scheme attached to the product.

•` Double your order for a small fee

•` No company street address.

•` Make you sign up for a subscription to receive the product.

You should also be suspicious of doctors who:

•` Prescribe medicines or give injections at every visit.

•` Promise no risk cures

•` Suggest something that seems unethical or illegal

•` Have you avoid other doctors.

•` Can’t explain how the treatment works.

There is no magic in medicine. Your doctor should be able to explain your problem and help you make a good decision about what is best for you. You want to be a working partner with your doctor. Test, diagnosticians nor medical specialist are enough to insure you receive the best out come for your medical issue. You need to know why you are making this medical choice. Understanding your course of action will help you to avoid being over charged and under served.

When you want to know more about your medical issue and your options:

Ask your doctor for any written information about your condition.

Ask your insurance plan. Most have an advice help line.

Call your hospital medical library and ask for help getting information about your health issues.

Contact your local health groups like the Diabetes Association, Heart association or any group that works on your medical issue.

Take the new information with you on your next doctor visit.

There is a lot of health information everywhere. Some true. Some not so true. Don’t believe everything that people write in newspapers and magazines. Those TV health show with celebrity endorsements are not always the best place to get health information either. Using common sense can help you sift through a lot of health nonsense. The best way to protect yourself is to ask questions. Do research on the treatment. If everything you learn doesn’t add up it won’t work.

Medical fraud also includes counterfeit drugs and forign purchases. Prescription drugs are at an all time high. Everyone is trying to reduce the cost of their medications. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

Ask your insurance company for a list of pharmacies that can help you reduce cost.

Ask your friends what pharmacies they use.

Check the expiration date on the medication.

Check the label for miss spelled information

Know the color, shape and size of your pills.

Count your pills.

LegitScript and VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites are two site that list online pharmacy that are good.

The FDA regulates prescription drugs in the United States. The FDA has no ability to monitor the safety and efficacy of imported medications. Websites can pop up overnight and disappear as quickly. There is little that can be done if you receive counterfeit drugs or if you are the victim of a scam. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), The United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA),

PharmacyChecker, and the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) evaluate online drugstores for the quality of the services they provide. Each of these organizations has a directory, which lists the pharmacies they have approved. The NABP explained that 96 percent of the Internet drug companies they review are not in compliance with state or federal regulations. NABP provides a list of rogue sites that are “Not Recommended”.

You have to also keep I mind that current laws in the U.S. don’t allow the foreign purchase of any drug. This includes driving over the border to Canada or Mexico to buy the same, exact drug legally approved and licensed in the United States.

There are a few cases when you are allowed to bring prescribed medication into the United States:

•` When a drug is not yet approved in the U.S. but is prescribed for a serious condition for which there is no equivalent in the United States.

•` When the amount being imported is no more than a three-month supply.

•` When the drug is declared at Customs with the appropriate prescription or documentation.

If you feel you have experienced medical fraud you should contact your local state health department.

If you have a fitness question or concern you would like addressed write to: “Tips to be Fit,” P.O. Box 53443. Philadelphia, PA 19105 or tipstobefit@gmail.com. If you’ve missed an article of “Tips to be Fit” just search “Tips to be Fit.”

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