Cheaper Meds From Mexico Not Always Worth the Savings

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA-- Buyer beware!  If you're one of those shoppers, who takes a trip across the border to get your prescription drugs, a word of warning.  Saving a few bucks, may be the only postive thing you get out of the deal.

Gary Warren is a local pharmacist and he says when you're dealing with drugs from a country like, say, Mexico, you may or may not be getting the same thing as you would here.  As tempting as it sounds, saving a few bucks just isn't worth the risks that go with it.

"We just don't know. For some medications it doesn't matter, but for some other ones, it could make a whole lot of difference.  It could be life threatening,"  Warren said.

Warren is the owner of Town and Country Drug in Odessa.  He warns of the downside to getting your prescriptions filled south of the border, " The problem you get into, going to Mexico and crossing the border and buying it, sometimes you're not sure of the authenticity of it.  There have been reports of some medications having no active ingredients."

There's no way to know how strong those meds are once you've bought them.   According to Warren, a drug loses it's strength in different ways, "People don't realize, if they're stored at high temperatures, they lose their potency.  Whatever the experiation date on the package, the longer they've been stored in unsafe conditions, the shorter the expiration date."

As easy as it is to get them in Mexico, there are money saving ways to get your meds right here at home.

"There's a lot of resouces out there.  We don't utilize all of our resouces.  A lot of people haven't even signed up for Medicare Part D yet.  They are eligible if they get social security or are on Medicare Part A or B," Warren explained.

Warren adds, some come from the companies themselves, "A lot of them have programs that supply medications to people who qualify for them, if they make a certain income."

But if you still choose to head for the border,  Warren wants to make sure you know, "It kind of goes back to the deal, if it's too good to be true, sometimes it is."

Warren advises, whether in Mexico or here, make sure you get your meds at the same pharmacy everytime.  That way they can keep track of everything you are taking and how the different drugs interact with each other.