Can that pill hurt you?

Marilyn Chase, in her article “Buying the Wrong Medicine Overseas,” in the Aug. 16, 2005, edition of the Wall Street Journal, warns about buying brand-name prescriptions abroad.

She states, “Several drugs in foreign countries sometimes have the same brand name as U.S. medications but contain completely different ingredients.

“A safety alert issued to hospitals and doctors this year by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices ( — P.W.), a nonprofit group, identified several drugs in the U.S. that have the same brand name (but not the same generic name — P.W.) as very different drugs sold by different manufacturers in European countries.”

It therefore behooves the traveler…

• to carry all needed medications with him/her and,

• when buying medication overseas, to compare its brand name and generic name.

Contributing Editor