Consumer Alert: Beware of imported prescription pills

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Buying prescription drugs outside the U.S. might be cheaper and more convenient, but it also involves serious risks that every consumer should keep in mind.

Nina Ossana was taking large quantities of drugs obtained online and over the phone. Her sister took her own life and Ossana was determined to find out why.

"In the weeks after she died, I got 100,000 doses of these drugs." Ossana says. "There is no reason for anyone to have that many doses of any drugs. I had her cell phone and she would get 33 calls a day. The vendors would call and say 'I just sent your prescriptions, I just sent your drugs to you. Can I send you more?'"

Ossana discovered her sister was buying drugs from other countries.

"When you aren't buying it from a reputable source, I wondered, was there something else in the drugs," Ossana says. "Was it really was it was supposed to be, were there impurities, did it cause her to commit suicide?"

U.S. Postal Inspectors say buying drugs outside of the U.S. is dangerous. Telemarketers lure customers with cheaper prices and convenience. The elderly, poor or those with an addiction are often easy prey.

"Do not trust your health to these overseas vendors," says Quiana Valentine, U.S. Postal Inspector. "We don't know the exactly what is in the pills, the potency, how they will interact with other drugs you're currently taking."

Postal inspectors and agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are working together to trace the origin of the packages Ossana's sister received.

"What I want is for no other family and friend to have to go through what I went through with my sister," says Ossana.

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