Unprescribed prescription medication

I know someone who a while ago answered one of those ads to participate in a clinical trial, in this case, about depression.

They gave her a routine intake, a doctor interviewed her, and explained that they were comparing different ways to treat depression. In the end, the doctor had her try out an anti-depressant medication (without a prescription). He gave her a bunch of free samples of the stuff (about two month’s worth) and after a month (and more evaluation interviews) they both decided that it wasn’t really helping, so they parted ways.

Now she has a month of anti-depressant medication that she doesn’t need, and it turns out it’s the same name brand which her best friend uses–and for which her best friend pays a considerable price.

She wants to just give it to her friend. What do you think?

This would be illegal in many places, so I’m going to say no, not a great idea.

I’m sure it is. As a broke college kid who has to pay a lot for an SSRI (and started out with 6 weeks’ worth of samples from a doctor before getting a script for that reason), though, I would have a hard time turning it down or not shelling it out to a friend. If nothing else I’d keep the pack from the friend in my purse/car/locker in case I was not at home and needed it, since I have to take mine every 12 hours. It’s probably bad to admit that, though.

In our community, legally or not, a lot of seniors get prescriptions and give the medicine to persons who cannot afford it. For example first they do not take their blood pressure medicine, then go back to the doctor and he increases the dose, then they split the higher dose with impoverished friends.

I asked a similar question recently – I was specifically asking about sales, but replies seemed to indicate that any transfer would be illegal in the US.


But obviously giving it to a friend is going to attract less attention than advertising on the internet.

I will observe that it is probably lawful for your friend to dispose of the unneeded meds by throwing them away.

I am not aware of any law that would prohibit your friend from doing so in the presence of someone who actually needs the meds.

I am not aware of any law that would require your friend to then monitor the final disposition of the contents of a garbage can.

But your friend should be sure to dispose of the unneeded meds in a safe, responsible, and lawful manner.

If the medication was from a study, there’s a chance it might be a placebo . . . especially since it “wasn’t really working.” I’m surprised she didn’t have to return the unused ones.

That’s exactly what I was thinking.

As for the rest, I think this is a place where morality and legality conflict, and, in such cases, I always go with the former, although I can’t morally or legally recommend you do so.