Do you like the idea of buying drugs online?
No, we’re not talking about illegal ones. We’re talking about the prescriptions you need on a daily basis.
The truth is that online pharmacies are extremely convenient for many people. It’s often difficult for a sick or elderly person to get to a pharmacy to buy their medication. Ordering it online and having it delivered to the door solves that problem quite nicely for them.
But not all online pharmacies are created equal. Some are created specifically to scam people and many operate illegally.
Learn how to spot a safe online pharmacy to know that you are getting a quality product. Take a look at these 7 tips.
1. Requires a Valid Prescription
You should not be able to buy prescription medication without a prescription. That’s part of the whole point of doctors writing prescriptions for their patients.
A safe online pharmacy will require you to present a valid prescription. This prescription needs to come from a doctor or other licensed healthcare professional.
If they don’t ask you for one, that’s a huge red flag. Just using prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal. A reputable pharmacy should never sell prescription drugs without a prescription simply for the sake of liability.
If you need help finding a good doctor, take a look at these tips for finding a trustworthy doctor.
2. Is Licensed by the State
A huge sign that an online pharmacy is reputable is their licensing. Each State has their own requirements, of course. But licenses are only granted to reputable pharmacies.
Don’t just take the pharmacy’s word for it. Unscrupulous pharmacies will make whatever claims they want on their website. Find out if the pharmacy you are considering is licensed in your State here.
3. Has a U.S. Address
Another great indication of an online pharmacy’s legitimacy is if they display a physical address on their website. Even an online company needs some kind of space that they are working out of. They should be willing to provide that information publicly.
This is important for checking their licensure, and it’s also important for ensuring that they are a U.S. company. This is important because in most cases it is illegal to purchase prescription drugs from another country.
The FDA does have a few exceptions, but these cases are rare. The following 3 conditions apply when buying medications from outside the U.S.
- You must have a serious condition for which there is no equivalent drug available in the U.S. This can happen when a drug exists, but the FDA has not yet approved it. You must also have the appropriate prescription from a licensed professional.
- You cannot order more than a 3 month’s supply at once.
- You must declare the drug at customs and have the appropriate prescription/documentation.
Take careful note if a pharmacy promises to ship you medications without first meeting these requirements.
4. Has a Licensed Pharmacist on Hand
A safe online pharmacy will be interested in taking care of their customers in the best way they can. This includes having a licensed pharmacist on hand to answer your questions.
This is common practice in physical pharmacy locations. It makes sense that it should be common practice online as well.
5. Has Appropriate Prices
With health costs on the rise, many people are looking for the best deal they can find on their prescriptions. Elderly people, in particular, are looking for affordable places to buy their necessary medications.
In some cases, buying prescriptions drugs online can represent significant cost savings. Online pharmacies often have less overhead than physical locations and can pass those savings on to the customer.
But beware. There are plenty of disreputable drug companies offering medications at rock-bottom prices. This is usually because the medications are subpar or don’t actually contain the ingredients they claim to contain. Click for more information about a safe way to save big on prescription medications.
Being a savvy shopper doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of your medicine.
6. Doesn’t Send Spammy Emails
A safe online pharmacy will not send you unsolicited emails. If you sign up for their mailing list you should expect to receive informative emails and those related to your purchases. They may also occasionally send you reasonable promotions for non-prescription medication.
But, if you receive a lot of flashy emails promoting cheap drugs, take note. This is even more important if what they’re offering doesn’t even have anything to do with you. A reputable, serious company will only send you relevant information that they believe will be helpful to you.
7. Has the Right Ingredients
We briefly mentioned this earlier, be we want to talk about it more. Disreputable companies may stuff pills with the wrong or a less amount of the ingredients they should contain.
These pills at best will be ineffective and at worst may cause damage to your system if you take them. Always check the label to ensure that the proper amount of the right ingredients appears to be in the bottle.
If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to question the pharmacist further. If they can’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, talk to your doctor before taking the medication.
Find a Safe Online Pharmacy Today
Ordering prescription medications online is a timesaver and a huge help to many people. But you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your medication or worry that you are shortchanging your health by buying online.
Be sure to check out these 7 factors with any pharmacy from which you are considering buying your medication. If they pass this test with flying colors, you can reasonably assume that the medications you buy from them are safe to consume.
To find a great pharmacy, try using our Find A Business tool.