Buying prescription drugs online is a convenient and easy option for most consumers. However, the presence of unscrupulous and fake online pharmacies can make using online pharmacies a risky move. This article discusses tips on how consumers can protect themselves when buying from online pharmacies.
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buying prescription drugs online
Online pharmacies provide great convenience to many consumers when it comes to getting access to prescription medications. Unfortunately, the presence of fake online pharmacies poses an equally great risk comprised of counterfeit medications and health hazards. To keep buying prescription drugs online a safe and positive experience, follow these tips:
1. Opt for online counterparts of major chain pharmacies.
If you must buy from an online pharmacy, opt for one that is an online version of a major chain pharmacy. Online pharmacies like these follow the same stringent and strict procedures used by their brick-and-mortar counterparts in the processing, handling, and shipping of medications and other drugs. They also have lower prices since pharmaceutical firms give them huge discounts. If the prescription medication you need is quite rare, you also have a better chance of finding it in a major chain-online pharmacy. You can also visit a local branch of the online pharmacy in case you encounter problems in taking your medications.
2. Consider online versions of local pharmacies.
Even major chain pharmacies have limitations when it comes to expansion. If there is no major chain pharmacy in your area, you can opt for the online version of a local pharmacy. While they cannot provide you with the same low prices as major chain pharmacies, you have the added benefit of proximity. You can seek the advice of the pharmacy’s registered pharmacists for questions and consultations quite easily.
3. Choose an online pharmacy that requires a prescription.
Whether the online pharmacy you are using is a major chain, local, or purely online one, check if it requires a prescription. It is illegal to order and sell prescription medication without a valid Rx in the United States. Hence, sites that are offering you the option to do so are probably operating illegally. Beware of sites that do not require prescription since the medicines they are selling may be counterfeit and dangerous to your health.
4. Check for license and accreditation.
The warehouses, offices, and stockrooms of reputable online pharmacies undergo regular inspections from regulating bodies like the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Associations, and the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. A site that is licensed, accredited, and approved by these organizations are legal and can cater to your healthcare needs competently.
5. Look for complete, verifiable contact information.
This is especially crucial for pharmacies that are purely online in operation. Email addresses are not enough; a site must post a complete and verifiable physical address and toll-free phone numbers. If these are not present at the website, opt for another online pharmacy. Contact information is essential especially if you encounter problems with the medication you ordered or if there is a mistake in delivery.
6. Examine the online pharmacy’s privacy and security policy.
Since you need to share identifiable, personal information in ordering medicines online, you have to make sure that the online pharmacy will protect any information you divulge and will not use it for its own ends.