Rising health care costs have forced many Americans to find alternative sources for their prescription medications. Pharmacies in Canada and Mexico fill and ship prescriptions to the US daily, and for years these transactions were paid for with credit cards. Credit card companies approved the transactions that were made with legitimate pharmacies, and Americans received their medications and were able to maintain the regimen that their doctor had prescribed.
Recently credit card companies have begun to deny transactions made with these pharmacies. By denying Americans the means to purchase their medications, the credit card companies (who are bowing to the influence of pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington) are creating the potential for a health care crisis of epic proportions. Rather than begin purchasing their medication from American pharmacies (which is the goal), people will begin to purchase only some of their medication, skip doses in order to make the prescription last longer or stop taking their medication altogether, leading to serious health-related consequences.
The majority of these people are over the age of 55, and are a part of the already overburdened Medicare system. If they begin altering the way that they take their medication, or stop taking it completely, their health issues will be exacerbated, resulting in more doctor visits and hospital stays, and pushing Medicare to it’s limits. The resulting higher costs will be passed on to the American taxpayer.
Another potential risk of denying payments to legitimate pharmacies is the potential for Americans to begin buying their medications from so-called “rogue” pharmacies. The risks from these illegal operations include
- Fake medications being dispensed that contain bogus or harmful ingredients
- Online scams that take the customers money and disappear without sending the medication
- Obtaining personal information and defrauding the customer
- Dispensing medication without a valid prescription—effectively allowing people to “self medicate” without the supervision of a licensed physician
Pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington are not acting in the interest of the American people, but rather are only out to increase their profits. They have no regard for the health and well-being of the American people, and by cutting off access to legitimate medication options, they are forcing people to make choices that could ultimately endanger their lives.
People who are unable to purchase their prescriptions at affordable prices are forced to make decisions regarding their own health care, or the care of their loved ones, based on money rather than medicine. By skipping doses to extend the life of a prescription, choosing which medications to purchase rather than purchasing what their doctor has recommended, or cutting pills to make medication last longer, Americans are placing themselves at risk and placing the resulting burden on the taxpayers. Americans should have the right to make their own healthcare decisions without having to do so based on cost rather than medical need. The credit card companies that are denying them this most basic of rights need to be reigned in, and forced to allow legitimate purchases from legitimate foreign pharmacies, before the health of the American people is even more severely compromised.