The Dope on Genotropin
How easy is it to order Genotropin?
This is the substance Gary Matthews, Jr. allegedly ordered from a now-defunct lab in Mobile, Alabama. But did he do anything illegal?
To see whether this is actually a hard thing to do, I set out to see whether I could order it myself.
I started by doing a Google search on "Genotropin." I was shown a link to a page at Drugstore.com where I was assured that Genotropin could be ordered online.
Although it said that "Genotropin may be used to improve growth in children whose bodies do not produce enough growth hormone on their own," it also said that "Genotropin may be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor."
The page listed Genotropin in various doses, "7 cartridges per box." I clicked the 1 mg dose option and saw pricing for various amounts. The default was "21 ea." for $1,110.24.
I clicked "Add to Cart" and was brought to a "Sign In" screen. I was a new customer, so I clicked on the "New Customer" button. I was asked for my first name (optional), an e-mail address, and a password.
With a click, I was in. The "Proceed to Checkout" button appeared but I was told that "to ensure the quality of your medicine, any order that contains a refrigerated item is shipped overnight. This is because standard shipping methods do not guarantee that the medicine will be kept at the proper temperature in transit."
I clicked the "Proceed" button and was brought to a new screen where I was asked to "enter health profile information." It asked who the prescription was for, whether I have any drug allergies, current medical conditions or illnesses, and any current medications I might be taking.
Just to see what would happen, I entered a fictitious name ("John Doe"), address (I gave a P.O. Box) and phone number, then indicated that I had no medical conditions or allergies.
The next screen asked whether I might want a cheaper generic version. It also asked whether I’d pay the full amount myself, or whether my insurance or credit card would cover it. I chose "I will pay the full amount myself" and clicked Continue.
At this point, I finally reached a legitimate checkpoint. I was asked how I would provide my prescription information. I chose "I will mail in my written prescription," and entered fictitious information for my doctor.
When I clicked Continue, I got to a page where I was prompted for credit card information. This was the point at which I bailed, not choosing to carry this escapade down a more expensive path.
I didn’t carry it all the way through, but it appeared to me that there was little to stop me from ordering Genotropin if I wanted.
Oh, and while I completed the order, I got an e-mail from DrugStore.com welcoming me to "The Uncommon Drugstore." The e-mail indicated they’re based in Bellevue, Washington. No one seems to be after them yet.
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