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February, 2007

Senior News from February, 2007

Senior Citizens Warned of Unscrupulous Sales Tactics

This week, some Medicare advocacy groups have publicized their findings that many private insurance agents have been using unscrupulous, high-pressure sales tactics to push senior citizens with Medicare into private health plans that do not actually meet their health care or financial needs.  The advocacy groups have also called for heightened government oversight of the practices of private insurers. 

 

Apparently, agents who sell companies’ higher-priced private health plans rather than the companies’ stand-alone drug plans generally earn higher commissions.  Some of these agents are taking advantage of older and disabled Americans by confusing them with numerous, complicated, private plan options.  

 

Senior citizens should remember not to be pressured into buying anything, to take their time before making a purchase decision, and to shop around for the appropriate health care plan.  Read this article for more detailed information and tips about how to make sure you purchase the right health care plan for you.

 

Counterfeit Drugs Taint Many Online Prescriptions, FDA Says

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reissuing warnings about the dangers of buying prescription drugs online, after many Americans have recently complained about receiving counterfeit products.  Some consumers who purchased the drugs Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan over the Internet instead received drugs containing an anti-psychotic drug known as Haloperidol.  Consequently, many people around the country sought emergency medical treatment for symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms, stiffness, agitation, and sedation. 

 

According to Consumers Union, senior citizens account for just 12 percent of the United States population, but represent one third of our national prescription drug spending.  If you or someone you know have recently purchased prescription drugs online, the FDA press release contains pictures of the counterfeit products and also their shipping packages for comparison.  If you buy prescription drugs online, buy only from licensed pharmacies in the United States and be sure that the pharmacy requires a prescription. 

 

For more information and tips, visit the FDA website.

 

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