There’s a BBC News story this morning that is highly biased against online pharmacies with the implication that they’re all or mostly evil, corrupt and dangerous spammers. (They even use the image of a mailbox full of Viagra spam to illustrate it)
Sadly, it seems there is pressure on many organisations to shut down online pharmacies – names listed in the story as working against them include Google, Network Solutions, Paypal, Visa and Mastercard although it is not clear if these companies are targeting just spammers or also more legitimate organisations. There is, as ever, an element of the US throwing it’s weight around here. Non-US companies such as Inhouse Pharmacy have been affected by this by having their US domain name taken away but there is some UK involvement too as the UK domain for the company was also pulled earlier this year.
Why is this a problem?
Because of the obsession by the state and by (Fortunately, not all) doctors to control our bodies and our transition. HRT is not illegal to posses without a prescription and it’s not against the law to import either. You’re just not allowed to sell it in this country without a prescription.
Thankfully, there is a swing against this and there has already been talk of making some hormones available without prescription (Not with Trans folk in mind, of course) as they are already in many countries. With a huge waiting list and process for NHS treatment that can take years, many lives will have been saved by self-medication with HRT and the latest medicines such as Estradiol Valerate do not have the same blood clot problems as earlier medication. (I am not aware of a single study that conclusively indicates modern HRT has any risk at all in this area)
Turning up at Charing Cross Gender Identity clinic and telling the doctors you have been self medicating is also no longer the problem it used to be.
Even once you are transitioned, having an online source can be useful, even essential. Many GPs will only give out drugs in 28 day packs, which can be a hassle to sort every four weeks if you do not work locally. Add on to that inevitable disruption caused by missing consultant letters, going on holiday, moving house or just plain paperwork issues and it pays to keep a good month or so of HRT in reserve.
Lack of HRT may not be life threatening – meaning one can not get the necessary prescription from an A&E department but as anyone that’s been through a very sudden menopause knows, it is not a pleasant experience.
But if online pharmacies are hunted down in this way, there will be fewer sources one can trust for medication. Eventually, it will become entirely black market and then you have no idea what you are taking. Estradiol Valerate is to cheap to be worth counterfeiting, unless lack of availability caused by this sort of thing pushes the price up.
The state does not always know best. It would be nice if, at least for drugs that are not dangerous, they let us make our own minds up rather than treating us like children.