Online shopping is becoming a way of life for many people. Many people now prefer buying their drugs on online pharmacies or websites that seem to be more convenient, discreet, and quick. But is it safe and legal to buy medication online?
The answer to this can be yes and no, depending on different circumstances. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many online rogue pharmacies sell prescription medicines at lower prices without any valid prescription. If you buy from such, you expose yourself to unapproved and counterfeit drugs.
How do you protect yourself from such online drug sellers? Caution is always the number one rule to apply to every online purchase you make. Here is a detailed guide to buying medicine online safely.
Buy Medication Online From Reputable Sources
Even if you’re not a tech-savvy person, you must know how to differentiate credible websites from fake ones. Some sites look fake from the word go, and purchasing from them means getting yourself in trouble. Make sure you check local online drugstores that are recognizable and use their correct web address.
Another way to ensure you’re buying from a reputable source is to look for the seal of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP). You can also check the accreditation from Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). Sites with either the NABP or VIPPS seal always comply with all the criteria and licensure requirements of online drug sellers.
The pharmacies listed by VIPPS are analyzed for safety and legality. Check for the VIPPS logo on their website to be sure of this before making a purchase.
Avoid Cheap Medicine Prices
Almost everyone is asking how to save money on prescription drugs. But sometimes you can get low prices that are too good to be true. Check if the prices of the pharmacy you intend to work with are way below what you normally pay for at other pharmacies.
Well, some pharmacies may sell their medicines at slightly lower prices to lure customers. However, other prices can be too low that you begin to wonder how they’re making their profit. If you have such questions in mind, then this can sign that the medication is counterfeit.
If you don’t know the prices of the medication you intend to buy, some sites allow you to compare prices. Check prices from different sellers, including offline ones. This way, you can know the average cost of the intended medication.
Ensure They Ask for Prescription
When buying prescription medication, the best online pharmacy asks for your prescription. They should also have their ways of identifying if the prescription comes from a licensed physician.
Other online pharmacies will tell you that they don’t need a prescription to sell you certain drugs. If you come across such sellers, don’t buy from them, as this is a clear sign that they’re not legitimate. Buying from illegitimate online drugstores means putting a threat to your life since they can sell you fake medicines.
Ensure the Pharmacy Answers Your Questions
Taking some medicines requires extra precaution. Hence your physician should be available to answer all your questions.
Fake online medicine pharmacies aren’t willing to answer your questions or provide directions. Hence, some have no medical experience on the proper guidelines on the medications you intend to take.
Work with a pharmacy that’s available to answer all your questions and offer all the necessary guidelines. They should have reliable contact information where you can find them any time of the day. In case you experience any problems with the medicines, you need the physicians available to help.
Check With Your Insurance Provider
If you have medical insurance, it will be a lot easier for you to purchase medication online. Most medical insurance companies have mail-ordered pharmacies that they recommend to their customers. This information is always available on your insurance company’s website, or you can call them to ask.
Pharmacies recommended by the insurance providers are legal and safe to buy from. If your insurance company doesn’t have any recommendations, consider asking your doctor or any trained physician. Friends, relatives, or colleagues can also recommend some reputable online sellers they’ve worked with.
Avoid Companies That Ship Medicines Worldwide
While some reputable online pharmacies don’t have a physical address, those with one are more advantaged. A physical address can tell you the location of the pharmacy. If you’re in the U.S., you need to work with online pharmacies located there.
If you find companies located outside the U.S. and still willing to ship the medicines, you should take caution. One reason to avoid companies that ship worldwide is that they may end up shipping drugs forbidden in your state.
For instance, some countries consider abortion illegal. This means buying abortion drugs even from international pharmacies, can get you in trouble.
Every state has its guidelines for medicines; hence international shipping may not be a good idea. Some drugs considered medicine in one state might be hard drugs that are illegal in another state. No reputable online medicine sellers will help you break the law by selling you illegal drugs.
Buying Medicines Online Is Safe With Proper Precautions
When it comes to medicines, you can’t take anything for granted since your life depends on it. Failing to follow proper guidelines as you buy medication online can put you on the wrong side of the law or endanger your life. Some pharmacies will sell you dangerous meds that contain inactive ingredients or harmful ones.
Dangerous medicines can cause undesirable side effects, interact with other medications, or be ineffective. To avoid all these, always make sure you only buy your medication from safe online pharmacies.
We’re always here to ensure you keep your health in check with the correct medical information and guidelines. Browse through our site to find more helpful articles for other medical guidelines.