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I-Team Special Report: Drug Dilemma, Part II

Updated: Friday, May 2, 2014 |
I-Team Special Report: Drug Dilemma, Part II story image
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Medicine or food?

That is a choice some families face, and some are now turning to a different method to acquire prescription drugs.

The I-Team investigated a drug dilemma, and found a black market for prescription drugs that is very dangerous.

When your doctor gives you a prescription you go to a pharmacy to pick up the medicine. That's the safe way to make sure you know what you are putting in your body.

But that is not how everybody shops for medicine.

Go online and search craigslist, and it is not hard to find someone posting for sale something that is supposed to require a prescription.

We found listings for human growth hormone and many prescriptions diabetics use, including Lantus, Novolog, and Levimir.

You would not use insulin unless you need it, this is not for an addiction. So why would someone be interested in buying this way?

If someone does not have insurance, prescriptions can be very expensive. Even with insurance some pay a lot out of pocket, because plans vary.

Pharmacists tell Newschannel 3 diabetes medications can cost in the hundreds.

We found lower prices on the black market.

Newschannel 3 contacted some of the craigslist postings selling prescriptions.

We spoke with someone on the phone who was selling what she said was insulin at a lower price than a pharmacy.

The Drug Enforcement Agency tells Newschannel 3 buying or selling prescriptions this way is illegal, but the desperation to save money creates another risk.

"You never have any guarantee on what you're getting," said Jim Middleton, the Director of Pharmacy at Western Michigan University. "There's not control over it. There's no oversight. You may be getting anything. You could be getting toxic waste from China."

The craigslist website has a list of rules users are suppose to follow.

The company says any good, service, or content that violates the law or legal rights of others is prohibited.

The DEA is focused on controlled substances--which insulin is not--but they told Newschannel 3 it would still be an illegal transaction because it requires a prescription, and a prosecutor could pursue charges.
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Business News

Last Update on August 29, 2014 17:14 GMT

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