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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 September 19, 2014 17:24 GMT

ALIBABA-IPO

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alibaba's stock is surging as the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse begins its first day trading as a public company.

The stock opened at $92.70 on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, up 36 percent from the initial $68 per share price set Thursday evening.

At that price the company would be worth $228.5 billion, more than companies such as Amazon, Ebay and even Facebook.

On Thursday, Alibaba and the investment bankers arranging the IPO settled on a price of $68 per share. The company and its early investors raised $21.8 billion in the offering, which valued Alibaba at $168 billion in one of the world's biggest ever initial public offerings.

But after a two-hour trading delay due to strong demand, it opened much higher than that price. If the stock closes at $92.70, the IPO will have raised close to $30 billion.

LEADING INDICATORS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health rose in August but at a much slower pace than in July.

The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators rose 0.2 percent in August, the seventh straight increase. But that was much slower than the revised 1.1 percent gain in July.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says even with the slowdown in August, the index shows the economy is still gaining traction.

STATE UNEMPLOYMENT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unemployment rates rose in nearly half of U.S. states in August, even as employers in two-thirds of the states added jobs.

The Labor Department says unemployment increased in 24 states, fell in 15 and was unchanged in 11. Hiring picked up in 35 states, while it fell in 15.

Unemployment rates can rise even when hiring increases if more people start looking for work and don't immediately find jobs. The figures suggest hiring was broad-based across most regions of the country last month, even as nationwide job gains in August were the weakest this year.

Georgia reported the nation's highest unemployment rate, at 8.1 percent, followed by Mississippi at 7.9 percent. That's the first time Georgia has had the highest rate since the Great Recession ended.

BRITAIN-SCOTLAND-ECONOMY

LONDON (AP) -- Businesses and investors have reacted with relief to Scotland's decision to reject independence from the United Kingdom.

The No campaign won 55 percent of the votes cast in Thursday's referendum. The 10-point victory margin was wider than expected -- most opinion polls on the eve of the vote showed a narrower 4-point victory.

British stocks responded positively to the news Friday, with the FTSE 100 index up 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland shares were up, and the bank, which is majority-owned by the U.K. government, said it was "business as usual" for its customers.

Some had warned that if Scotland left, uncertainty over the future value of the British pound and government debt would have rattled the U.K economy.

In the currency markets, the pound was solid too, rising to a two-year high against the euro.

EXXON-RUSSIA DRILLING

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Exxon Mobil says it will stop drilling an exploratory well in Russia's Kara Sea in compliance with U.S. sanctions against Russia over Russia's involvement in the Ukraine.

Exxon planned to drill the well between August and October. The latest round of sanctions called for the removal of U.S. workers on projects in the Russian Arctic by Sept. 26.

Exxon says it has received a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to wind down operations, but it is unclear whether the license will allow Exxon to stop drilling on the schedule it had already laid out. Exxon could not be immediately reached for comment.

PABST BREWING-SALE

NEW YORK (AP) -- The maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is being sold to Russian company Oasis Beverages for an undisclosed sum.

In addition to its namesake beer, Pabst Brewing Co. makes Colt 45, Old Milwaukee and Schlitz. Pabst was acquired in 2010 by C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., which is known for investing in food brands.

Pabst Brewing, now based in Los Angeles, traces its roots back to 1844 in Milwaukee. Since purchasing it in 2010, Metropoulos has enlisted comedian Will Ferrell to market the company's beers. Pabst Blue Ribbon has also grown in popularity in part for its blue-collar appeal and cheap price.

Oasis is buying Pabst with TSG, an investment firm known for its work with consumer products companies. TSG Consumer Partners will take a minority stake in Pabst.

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