Ordering prescription drugs online can save you time and even money, but there are many things to be cautious of when you purchase medicines through the internet. Buying Prescription Drugs Online: Benefits and Pitfalls is a well written article that points out what scams you need to be aware of in regards to online pharmacies. There are many legitimate online pharmacies, but also many that are not licensed in the United States and some that are not pharmacies at all. Below is a quick list of do’s and don’ts when buying online medications:
- Consult your doctor: Only take medications prescribed for you by our doctor.
- Use a licensed pharmacy: Make sure the pharmacy carries that VIPPS seal of approval.
- Insist on contact with a registered pharmacist: Trustworthy sites will offer access to a registered pharmacist to answer any questions you might have.
- Be on the alert for counterfeits: Don’t use any medicines that arrive in altered or unsealed packaging.
- Read the privacy and security policies: Make sure your credit card number and health information are secure and protected.
- Compare prices: Sometimes online prices are lower, but other times you can get the same prescription for a lower price at your local drugstore. If the online price is significantly lower, you should question whether the site is a valid one.
- Use a site that doesn’t require a prescription: These “pharmacies” are violating U.S. law.
- Overlook the address and phone number: Stay away from sites that don’t provide this contact information or that only list foreign contact information.
- Order medication that is not approved by the FDA: It is illegal to import unapproved drugs to the U.S. Taking a drug that is not approved by the FDA could have life threatening consequences.
- Keep quiet about complaints: If you don’t receive your prescription, have unauthorized charges on your credit card, or have any other problems make sure to report these problems to the FDA.
If you do end up ordering your prescriptions online and have any questions or concerns about the medication you have received, don’t hesitate to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking the medication. This phone call or visit may help you avoid a costly or potentially life threatening mistake.