Did you know that purchasing prescription drugs from an online pharmacist could get you in trouble with the law? There are many rules and regulations surrounding online pharmacies. You need to understand what you are getting into before you make a purchase.
Ninety-five percent of websites offering prescription drugs do not meet the government standards for an online pharmacy. To find the best online pharmacies you need to pay attention to the website, its URL, its accreditation, and more.
To help you navigate the murky world of online pharmaceuticals, we’ve put together 7 must-know tips.
Read through these tips carefully. You’ll have all the tools you need to make a good choice when it comes to finding the best online pharmacies for your needs.
1. Digital Pharmacy Accreditation
The most important first step in working out if an inline pharmacy is right for you is to make sure it is on the list of Accredited Digital Pharmacies.
Since 1999, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Federal Drug Administration have teamed up to monitor online pharmacies. These organizations provide accreditation so that customers can have some peace of mind.
The Digital Pharmacy Accreditation (DPA) program has taken over from the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Sites (VIPPS) program.
The best online pharmacies get official accreditation and become an Accredited Digital Pharmacy.
For more than 20 years, these programs have ensured that online pharmacies have high-quality services for filling prescriptions. It also requires these companies to protect personal information. The program monitors the way online pharmacies communicate with customers.
If you find an online pharmacy that is not on the Digital Pharmacy Accreditation list don’t use it.
2. Use .Pharmacy
The main reason for the NABP and FDA shifting from VIPPS to DPA is internet fraud. They determined that some online pharmacies were faking their VIPPS accreditation.
As a result, they started requiring accredited online pharmacies to apply for and use .pharmacy URL endings. The .pharmacy URL is like a .com or .net ending but only accredited pharmacies can use it.
If the online pharmacy you are looking at doesn’t have .pharmacy in its web address it is not accredited and you shouldn’t use it. Make sure you look at the NABP’s list of accredited digital pharmacies when making your choice.
3. Require Prescriptions
You can buy medical drugs online without a prescription. However, it is illegal to do so in the United States. The best online pharmacies require a prescription.
If you don’t have a prescription written by a doctor you should not try to buy medication online. It’s as simple as that.
If an online pharmacy offers to provide a doctor’s prescription for you, it is likely offering you an unsafe option. You should not be able to call in your own prescription. Online pharmacies that allow you to do this could be selling you counterfeit medicine.
Make sure the online pharmacy you choose requires a doctor’s prescription.
4. Pharmacist Available
Another way to pick the best online pharmacies is to make sure it provides a pharmacist for consultation.
Just as you would expect a brick-and-mortar pharmacy to have a pharmacist on staff to answer questions, so you should with an online version. They will ask you questions to make sure the drugs you are ordering are compatible with other medicines you are taking. They will also make sure you understand how to take them according to the directions.
5. Check With Your Health Insurance Provider
Before you purchase drugs from an online pharmacy check with your health insurance provider that the pharmacy is ok with them. You might be saving money by using an online pharmacy but if it isn’t on the list of providers with your health insurance you’ll be paying for the whole prescription.
Health insurance companies vet all pharmacies that they work with. The best online pharmacies will be on that list.
6. Physical Address
Check that the online pharmacy you are considering has an actual physical address in the US or Canada. A PO Box address might be a warning sign that the online pharmacy is not legitimate. Alternatively, a PO Box address might mean the pharmacy is not located in the US at all.
If you find a pharmacy without a physical location in the US you shouldn’t use it. You may not be buying your drugs legally. That pharmacy may be selling counterfeit or illegal drugs.
The rules and regulations are different in Canada so you should find out more information before you use a pharmacist based there.
7. Warning Signs
There are a number of warning signs that you should pay attention to when considering using an online pharmacy.
Online pharmacies that send you email offers with great deals on the drugs you need are possibly unaccredited or illegal. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If the website provides international shipping, it could be a sign that they aren’t located in the US. A website without a US location is not a legitimate or accredited online pharmacy.
If there is no location listed on the website at all, it is a good indication that the online pharmacy is based outside of the US.
If the online pharmacy is offering drugs that aren’t available in the US don’t use that website. Drugs that are not FDA approved cannot be prescribed by a doctor.
Use These Tips to Choose from the Best Online Pharmacies
Finding the best online pharmacies is much easier if you pay attention to these 7 key points. Be careful of scams and illegal entities pretending to be official pharmacies.
If you follow these guidelines, though, you’ll be able to use online pharmacies to get your prescriptions filled.
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