One cause that it was much less potent than anticipated and thus “less useful”, mentioned Wang, may need been that it was not saved cool — between 2 and eight levels Celsius — “to maintain the stability of the medication”.
“This extends to other medications that require cold storage,” she added, citing insulin as one other instance of treatment that will be much less efficient if not saved correctly. “And that’s one of the risks with online shopping.”
Chia’s merchandise arrived in a standard field, and it turned out that the web site he discovered did have this disclaimer: “We do not offer cold chain delivery for this item.”
But even with bodily purchases in shops in Malaysia, consumers from Singapore bear some dangers, Wang cautioned.
“These are prescription medicines for a good reason. You do require a doctor to follow up … to make sure that the medicines are appropriate for you,” she mentioned.
“Bypassing the physician’s follow-up, you’d miss … the monitoring that’s normally required for prescription medication for its protected use.
“When you get a refill (of) cholesterol-lowering medication, for instance, you don’t really sense whether your cholesterol is high or low. And it’s not possible for you to sort of tell on your own whether it’s working or not.”
Watch this episode of Talking Point right here. The programme airs on Channel 5 each Thursday at 9.30pm.