The Internet abounds with people offering to sell you cheap drugs from out of the country.
Some people do it because it's the only way they can afford it. Some people are uneasy about buying drugs from outside the US.
But even if you're taking them in this country, chances are you already are.
According to a recent piece on drug manufacturing in India in The New York Times, "the United States is India’s top export customer for drugs."
Now consider this: we already put into our bodies cocoa beans, veggies, meats, wines and dozens of other food products imported from overseas into the U.S.
Feel any different?
What about the fact that the Times quotes a pharmaceutical industry rep explaing that Indian drug makers have the "ability to handle product development on a massive scale at a low cost."
Got to love those low cost drugs: a one-month supply of my acid reflux medicine would run close to $300 if I didn't have health insurance. But I don't need the reminder that it could be made on the cheap anymore than the Air Force pilot thinks the metal machine he's climbing into was all constructed by the low bidder.
I'm certainly not advocating we cease importation from countries that also happen to buy our exports.
And although it gives this story a xenophobic bent, I can help but think that as we further the push to "buy local" to ensure our food is safe, we're just pushing in the other direction in matters that are equally important.
Need we mention the number of Chinese imports that devastated the health of American families -- from lead laced toys to toxic drywall? And none of that was actually consumed on purpose.
With recent issues cropping up over recalled medicines, there's certainly no indication that "buying American" means "buying safe."
But the farther a product I'm consuming is made from my home, the more suspect it becomes. I would love to know where everything I'm putting into my body began its journey, and at the moment that's simply impossible.
Do you feel safe consuming medicines from out of the country?
Image via epSos.de/Flickr