Have you ever considered buying your medications online to save money?
The cost of prescription medications is rising and many people are looking for deals online. However, if a deal seems to be too good to be true you should double check the website to make sure it’s legitimate.
Make sure you stay safe when you use an online pharmacy. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re looking to buy medicine online.
Is Buying Prescription Drugs Online Legal?
The short answer is “yes,” but you must make sure you meet certain requirements. You need a prescription from a doctor to get medications online. You also need a doctor’s signature on your prescription.
Any online pharmacy that doesn’t ask for a prescription is not legitimate. Additionally, if you live in the United States, you cannot import prescription drugs.
It’s generally illegal to order medications from foreign pharmacies. American consumers can’t buy prescriptions outside the U.S. except under certain circumstances.
You also may be wondering if purchasing your medications online is worth it. There are many benefits to buying prescriptions online as long as you use a trusted online pharmacy.
1. Avoid Unusually Low Prices
Did you find your medication for $5 when you normally pay $95? If you find your prescription online for too cheap, it may mean the drug is counterfeit.
Do your research beforehand by using a service like eDrugSearch that allows you to compare drug prices.
Don’t fall for a scam. Check to make sure the business is licensed by a state board of pharmacy or an equivalent.
2. Look for a Physical Address
A legit online pharmacy should provide a street address. This way, you can check to make sure it is legal to order from and located in the United States. If you can’t find a street address on the website, you are taking a risk by ordering.
Because it’s illegal to buy from a foreign pharmacy in the United States, you should make sure that the company is licensed in the state that it is located. You can check by going to the NABP or FDA website.
Always check online to make sure an online pharmacy has a license. Do this before entering any personal information.
3. Check for a Listed Pharmacist
If you have any questions, you should be able to talk with a licensed pharmacist. Look for a pharmacist that you can contact by phone, email, or live chat.
If the website doesn’t have a licensed pharmacist listed don’t trust it.
4. Always Provide a Prescription
If the online pharmacy doesn’t ask for a prescription, it isn’t legitimate. You need to prove that you have seen or spoken to a doctor or licensed health care provider. You should always provide a prescription order with a signature.
There are several risks to ordering medicine without a prescription. You could receive the wrong medicine or the medication may be dangerous or expired.
You cannot call in a prescription yourself. Avoid any online pharmacy that claims their doctor can write you a prescription without an exam. This is different from telemedicine doctors.
What Are Telemedicine Doctors?
Telemedicine involves online or over-the-phone communication with a board-certified practitioner. This way, you can speak to a doctor without going to an office. Telemedicine is usually used for follow-up visits, managing a chronic condition, and consultations.
Unlike online pharmacy doctors, telemedicine doctors are accredited. They also don’t prescribe medications that need you to visit a doctor in person for an exam.
5. Look for the VIPPS Seal
What is the VIPPS seal? VIPPS stands for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. This is a seal given to legal and legitimate pharmacies that uphold pharmacy laws in the United States.
To gain a VIPPS seal, an online pharmacy has to meet several requirements.
- Get verified through the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program
- Comply with state requirements for licensing and inspections
- Meet the standards for pharmacy practice
- Follow the standards of privacy
- Meet standards of authentication and security for prescription medications
- Offer and stick to a policy of quality assurance
- Offer consultation between a patient and a pharmacist
If an online pharmacy meets all these requirements, they receive the VIPPS seal.
6. Only Buy Medicine Online from a Pharmacy Website
Any online pharmacy that wants the VIPPS seal has to have “.pharmacy” at the end of their URL web address. This is similar to “.com” at the end of the address, but only accredited pharmacies can use it.
If you come across a website that has a VIPPS seal but doesn’t have a dot pharmacy at the end of their URL, it may be a scam. This is an easy way to protect yourself against fraudulent practices.
You can find the best online pharmacies by checking verified sites in both the United States and Canada.
7. Make Sure Your Information Is Secure
Buying prescriptions online is convenient, but you should always make sure your information is secure.
You should be able to find the privacy policies and security settings. Read through the type of information that the website collects before you buy anything. Make sure you are comfortable with and agree to what they collect.
Additionally, you can make sure your information is secure by checking for “https” in the URL. This adds an extra security layer to the information you provide.
Are you buying medical equipment along with your prescriptions? Follow these tips to make sure you find a reputable website that provides quality products.
Stay Safe: Buy from a Reputable Online Pharmacy
When you buy medicine online, you can determine if the website is reputable by following these safety tips. The easiest way to find a safe online pharmacy is to make sure it has a VIPPS seal and “dot pharmacy” in the address.
You can save money by ordering your medications online, but do your research first and make sure it’s legal to buy. This way, you can avoid getting the wrong type of medicine or a prescription drug that isn’t approved.
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