Using an online pharmacy to refill a prescription or to get your medication is now the most practical option. The prices of medicines are a bargain. They have a mind-boggling selection to offer. They offer freebies. They have an easy refund and return policies. They have secure payment options. Everything that you used to find in your local drugstores is now online plus more. However, there are also risks associated with buying medicines from e-dispensaries.
Some of the risks are:
- Becoming a victim of scam or fraud
- Becoming a victim of identity theft
- Receiving counterfeit medicines
- Receiving low-quality medicines from different manufacturers
- At risk of being drug-dependent because your medicines are now more affordable and easier to obtain
With the benefits and risks of ordering from an online pharmacy, it is clear though that the benefits can still outweigh the risks. If you knew how to control yourself (when taking your drug) and if you will be taking it with a doctor’s assistance, you can certainly take advantage of your affordable medication. As for the other risks of refilling your prescription online, here are some of the things that you need to know.
Knowing your Online Pharmacy
Knowing your online pharmacy is the key to avoid becoming a victim of scam. If you know the e-store you are dealing with, then you can stay away from e-stores that dispenses counterfeit medicines. Here are some of the things that you should be aware of to determine if you are safe online.
- It is a secure site? A secure site is shown by an https protocol. It means that the protocol is ‘secure’ as indicated by the ‘s’ word at the end of the text.
- Check the offer or pricing of your internet dispensary. Do they offer low-priced medicines to the point of giving it away? Remember that they are on a business and they still want to earn. Offers that are too good to be true is a red flag of a scamming website
- Online pharmacies are verified by the NABP and the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site (VIPPS). The Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site (VIPPS) has a blue and red logo. If you see this logo, it means that the internet drugstore you are visiting is a legit one.
- Check their history. Most internet drugstores will tell you where they started. Internet stores that started with a physical store and branched out with an online store because of the popularity of online marketing are more reliable. It means you are dealing with a legit pharmacy.
- Check for customer reviews. Customer reviews will mirror the real service and quality of product that an online dispensary offers. These customer reviews will tell you if they received genuine and effective medicines or not. Most of the time, we rely on customer reviews in determining the legitimacy of an internet drugshop especially in terms of delivering orders.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself from Scamming Online Pharmacies?
Despite knowing everything about scamming internet drugstores, we still fall to their schemes especially after seeing low-priced medicines. We do online buying because we want to save in gas, transportation, time and money (using coupon codes and promos) hence seeing a low-priced medicine often call our interests. To avoid becoming a victim, here are some of the things that you can do to stay safe when refilling your prescription online!
- Look for pharmacies that require a prescription for prescription medicines. It means they are after your well-being and not your money. Do not agree with internet stores that offer web-consultation, so you can get a prescription
- If the only option for payment is credit card, make sure that they are using a secure payment system. If they accept debit cards, use a prepaid card with a fixed amount
- Dedicate time and energy to your online shopping. Look and compare at least 2-3 internet drugstores, check for their pricing, customer reviews and special offers
- Check their terms and conditions especially policies on return and refund. Most scamming websites will promise too much like ‘no question ask refund guarantee, 100% money-back guarantee. And free reshipping of order regardless of the circumstances. If an internet shop will do these, how would they earn and continue operating? Find an online pharmacy that has win-win terms and agreement for both parties involve (their business and you)
- Keep tab of your credit card transactions. Once you used your credit card, start checking it to ensure that your information is not compromised. Compare the amount to be charged and the amount taken from your card. If you see any discrepancies, contact your bank to put a hold on the transaction immediately
- Check the e-stores physical address and contact information. Make sure that you have a contact information in case you need them in the future
Online pharmacies have made drugs more accessible to everyone. Rare medicines are now more accessible even to countries where it is not available. People who cannot take their medicines regularly can now do with affordable drugs from internet dispensaries. Above all, the security provided by most online stores have also advanced to ensure an increase in online sales. This only shows that online buying has become safer than in the last ten years and you can be safe as long as you know how to identify a safe website from a scamming one. If you know your online pharmacy, then you can be safe with your online transactions regardless of what you are going to buy.
Always remember to read, review and ask questions when ordering online. Do not just trust the claims of each website. Being diligent is the key to avoid throwing your money out of the window in hope to save a few dollars.