10 Tips to Consider Before Using Online Pharmacy
Who does not like the convenience that saves money too? And when online pharmacies give you the option of buying prescription medicines cheaper than your local drugstore how can you resist the urge to feel tempted. In fact, it makes sense to try them and save some time and money.
However, always consider the following tips before using an online pharmacy:
1. Understanding online pharmacy and its operations
Online pharmacy is a virtual vendor for prescription drugs. They provide medicines at a cheaper price compared to local pharmacy/drugstore as they save on the infrastructure cost and can manage a large client base from just one location.
2. Legitimate and illegitimate pharmacies
Buying from the online pharmacy though comes with the convenience it also requires you to follow caution. Though many pharmacies are legitimate and licensed some of them are doing this business without following the legal guidelines, hence are illegitimate and considered fraudulent pharmacies.
3. Safety and Efficacy of medications
The medicine you receive from the online pharmacy has few dangers involved in it as you are not sure about how safe and effective they will be and where they are coming from. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that there are fraudulent pharmacies who may sell you counterfeit medications or drugs which are not approved. The medicines may have too little or too much of the active ingredient or may not contain the right active ingredient you need to treat your medical condition. Also, they may not maintain any privacy or protect your personal information.
4. Need for prescription
The online pharmacies which allow you to buy drugs without a prescription or provide you with an alternative to get prescription from their doctors are definitely not safe and legal. They may sell the medicines without prescription however the legitimate online pharmacy will need a valid prescription for any drug you want to order. So always consider online pharmacies that require a prescription from your licensed healthcare provider to place an order for the medicines.
5. Checking with the health insurance provider
If the prescription medicine is covered by your health insurance provider, it is always a safe option to check with your insurance provider about the list of approved online pharmacies to help you make a wise choice. However, some pharmacies may not be approved by your insurer but are legitimate, the only reason is they may not have the business agreement with each other.
6. Certified pharmacy seal
The online pharmacy that has met the licensure requirements and other safety qualifications to be eligible are the only ones approved for publishing the verified pharmacy seal either as PharmacyChecker.com seal or Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site (VIPPS) seal on their websites. Always look for verified and certified pharmacy by checking the seal before placing an order and to ensure you are using the right one. Websites ending in .pharmacy rather than .com have special approval from the board of pharmacy but it does not apply to all legitimate pharmacies.
7. Price variation and unreasonable promises
If you receive the medicine at an unusually discounted price at an online pharmacy as compared to your local drugstore always recheck before placing your order. It is a good idea to save money and look for options but if something looks too good to be true make sure to give it a double check and be wary of promises such as they claim to have medications not available anywhere else or phrases like “miracle cure”.
8. Licensed pharmacist
The legitimate online pharmacy employs a licensed pharmacist to answer patient questions regarding the medicines. If required U.S. pharmacy licenses can be verified online.
9. Pharmacy’s physical address and phone number
Legitimate online pharmacies will have a street address and phone number listed on their website where they can be contacted for any question or concern. If you do not find these then it is probably not a legal website.
The legitimate online pharmacy will have clear and easy to understand privacy and security policy.
Remember to keep the above tips in mind and have an incredible online shopping experience at online pharmacies. Be safe than sorry.