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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Consumer Protection.
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I have suffered from chronic back pain for almost 20 years.

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I have suffered from chronic back pain for almost 20 years. During that time every treatment that could be used was performed. About 5 years ago I was placed on a pain control medicinal formula consisting of long acting morphine, Norco as needed for break-through pain, and valium for leg spasms. The doctor who treated me for all these years retired in January and referred me to the local pain clinic. The earliest appointment I could get is not until next month. In the meantime the pain medication prescriptions I had ran out in February.I took a chance and ordered some Norco and Valium from an online pharmacy, presumably based in the Phillipines. I knew this was probably not legal as I had no current prescription for these medications, but I was desperate. I paid $526.50 for the medications through Western Union, and I believed the order would cover me until I could be seen in the pain clinic. After hearing nothing from the online pharmacy for a month, I began sending them emails and contacting them through their online contact program. I received no replies until I threatened to report them to Western Union for fraud and to also report them to any other agency that handles this kind of fraud. I finally received a response from them stating that I had sent the money in Phillipine currency not American dollars. They advised me to go to Western Union and cancel the money order. Fortunately I had received an email from WU shortly after wiring the money that it had been delivered in US dollars and had been picked up by an agent of the online pharmacy. I contacted them again yesterday and, following their online policy for refunds, asked them to cancel my order and issue me a full refund. I told them I would wait 24 hours and if I didn't hear from them, I would report them. It is now approaching the 24 hour mark and I haven't heard anything.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing Consumer Protection law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours.

With regard to your question:

My question is if I report them, will I also be in legal trouble for ordering from them?

Ouch. I really don't recommend that someone in the above situation described by you, report anything to anybody - and I'll explain that more below. But please know that I totally understand why you ordered the medications and working with people disabled by painful back impairments on a daily basis, I also understand how difficult it can be to be able to stay in one's medications once one needs to get a new physician, as well as the scrutiny one can receive when when they have no choice but to rely on strong pain medications to be able to bear the pain and get by with living.

That all being said - OK, here is why I would walk away, and forget my $500+. Soliciting prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal - criminal - and typically a felony. People have been and continue to be prosecuted for having such controlled substances illegally brought into the country. Now, it is true that you were not successful in getting the drugs into Michigan, or even this country, but you did solicit and you did attempt, and an example could be made out of you for those crimes. By analogy, if a person is buying a street drug and he gives the money to the seller and the seller than fails to hand over the *crack* or whatever drug is being purchased, the buyer can not reasonably believe he will be successful in getting his money back by going to the police and saying he was ripped of in an illegal drug deal. You see?

Here is just one criminal statute one can be prosecuted under:
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28tanl2y550ixydx2m1sageeif%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectname=mcl-333-7403

And here is the Feds word on this:
http://patients.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=patients&cdn=health&tm=82&f=20&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=0&bts=0&st=12&zu=http%3A//www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/consumer_alert.htm

The sentence can be life in prison - I'd just consider this a lesson learned, forget the $500, and put it behind you. To do ANYTHING about it is to actually confess to the felony - and the consequences could cause you to lose the rest of your life.

Also, I am appalled that your doctor did not keep you prescribed until you could get that appointment with the new facility - it is bad enough that you had to suffer your back pain, but it can also be dangerous to stop a medication all at once (as you probably know).


I hope this helps! Let me know if you need follow up before or after RATING me. And PLEASE know that my job depends on a POSITIVE rating now and at least an 8-10 feedback rating later. Thanks! I won't forget your support.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 11827
Experience: 19+ Years of Legal Practice in Consumer Protection.
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19+ Years of Legal Practice in Consumer Protection.