Do you want to know something alarming? According to studies, only 3-4% of online pharmacies worldwide are fake and illegitimate. There are thousands of online pharmacies out there offering low-priced medicines, but there is no assurance or guarantee that the medicine you will be receiving is real and effective (except for the e-store’s claim). In addition to this alarming fact, another disturbing fact revealed that in every 4-internet drugstore customers, one purchases a prescription medicine even without a prescription. What does it mean? It means that if you don’t know your online pharmacy, you are at risk of ordering potentially harmful medicines that can cause more harm than makes you better.
Among the popular medicines that you can find online are erectile dysfunction medicines, weight loss pills, hair loss treatment, and contraceptives. Some internet drugstores even sell depression and anxiety pills, drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease, heart diseases drugs and drugs to control diabetes and hypertension. Some of these medicines like ED medicines are prescription drugs. Most online pharmacies are dispensing them without asking for a prescription and this practice in itself is a risk for buyers. With these being said, how can you protect yourself from being scammed or for putting yourself at risk when ordering online? The answer is to know your pharmacy. How?
Identifying a Legit Online pharmacy
Knowing your online pharmacy means identifying it as a legit internet drugstore. What are the signs that your chosen online drugstore is a safe and a legit one? Here are some of the things that you can check:
- A legit online pharmacy asks for a prescription. Do not trust an online pharmacy that doesn’t asks for a prescription before dispensing an Rx drug. It means they don’t care about your well-being. They just want to earn and get your money and leave you at your own device
- A legit online pharmacy has logo of accredited health organizations such as FDA. If it is based outside the US, they should bear a logo of their local health regulatory like CIPA and MIPA for Canadian-based internet shops
- A legit online pharmacy offer discounts but not to the point of giving away their products. If you found an internet shop offering super affordable medicines, it can be a red flag. Online pharmacy is a business and it needs to earn in order to operate. If they are giving away their products, then how can they have ROI?
- A legit online pharmacy should sell unapproved substance or illegal medicines on their store. They should sell approved medications only
- If you are in the US and you are looking at a US-based online pharmacy, then it should bear an NABP logo and a VPPS logo. VPPS is Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site.
Once you identified if your chose online pharmacy is legit, then you can start purchasing your medicines conveniently.
Precautions when Purchasing Medicines Online
If your only option is to purchase your prescription medicine online because it is cheaper, then you should do everything that you can to protect yourself from being scammed.
Check for the domain or website name. A website testing all internet pharmacies revealed that a legit e-pharmacy bears the world .pharmacy after its domain name. The .pharmacy stands for ‘reputable pharmacy site’ hence it means that it is a legit e-dispensary
- Deal with internet pharmacies that ask for prescriptions and has a licensed pharmacists in case you have questions. An Rx medicine is given to someone because of a specific reason. It means that taking a prescription medicine without a doctor’s advice is risky
- Always look for a contact information and physical address. Do not get misled with promises of excessive low-priced medicines or bonus pills, always check for contact information first. You wouldn’t want to pay for something and when the time comes that you need to contact them because you have an issue, you don’t know how to do so
- Look for license. Find out if they have a license to operate and dispense drugs online.
- Do not give too much information about yourself. If you have an unused email address, use it to order. Illegitimate online pharmacies will definitely send you spam emails after ordering from them
- If you have a debit card that you are no longer using, put some funds on it and use it to pay your order online. This way, your main card won’t get compromised
- Be careful when dealing online pharmacies outside your country. Check your local custom laws in terms of drug importation to avoid inconvenience such as custom hold
Protect yourself from scamming internet drugstores and from people who are using the internet drug business to steal personal information. If you can exercise these cautions above, then you are safe to continue ordering your prescription medicine online.
For most, the risk associated with purchasing medicines online is outweighed by the savings they can get and the convenient brought about by ordering online. As long as you know how to identify a legit internet pharmacy and you exercise caution when ordering, then rest assured that you are safe from counterfeit drugs and from identity theft.
If you find an online drugshop that you can trust, stick with it. You might notice a small difference between their price and your local pharmacy’s price but the convenience of not needing to drive should be enough to stay with them.
In addition, legit online pharmacies ask for a prescription as needed. It is also important to take note that with legit online pharmacies, you can be assured that the medicine you are receiving are genuine and not expired. Just like those drugs that your local pharmacies offer, the medicines offered online are FDA approved too.