In a data shared by the Food and Drugs Administration, they say that only 3% of online pharmacies are safe and legit. Most online pharmacies that are based in Canada and the US may look legit but are not. These rogue pharmacies are using online pharmacies as a façade in order to give malware to their users, to steal identity and information, to dispense counterfeit medicines, and to scam others.
Among the common drugs that you can find online are weight loss pills, hair loss treatment, and erectile dysfunction treatment medicines. These are offered at a very low price. These medicines are also available in different brands and formulations. If you are dealing with an illegitimate online pharmacy, chances are you will get fake drugs. Fake drugs are not just waste of money as they are risky to take as well. Taking fake medicines can lead to a more serious health issue.
How would you identify a legit pharmacy then?
Knowing your Pharmacy
One way for internet pharmacies to cajole new customers is by offering coupon codes and discount codes. It is their way of making their customers think that they can save more if they will order from them. If you see an enticing online offer from an e-dispensary, should you grab that opportunity immediately? Here are the things that you need to check first to identify if an online pharmacy is legit or not.
- A legitimate online pharmacy should ask for a prescription if your order is an Rx drug. If you don’t have a prescription, they should advise you to talk to a doctor first
- A legitimate online pharmacy should not be sending out emails regularly to the point of spamming your emails
- A legitimate online pharmacy will always have a contact number, not just a ‘contact us’ page but a working phone number that you can call if needed
- A legitimate online pharmacy should always have an on-call pharmacist in case you have questions
- A legitimate online pharmacy should have a license to show, certification or a regulatory approval to prove that they are legit
- A legitimate online pharmacy should offer affordable medicines but too heap as if they are giving it away
- A legitimate online pharmacy should not claim worldwide shipping as there are countries that don’t allow importation of drugs of any kind
The information that we provided can be found on the FAQ page of most online pharmacies. Their FAQ page is where they put information about their company and the service being offered. You can also find their return and refund policies on this page as well as their terms and conditions. You would notice that your online pharmacy is legit if they have well-written terms and conditions, something that won’t put their customers at a disadvantage but would rather put the interest of both parties in par.
Risks of Dealing with Illegitimate Online Pharmacy
An illegitimate online pharmacy might look legit and genuine. You can also find logos from known regulatory boards like the FDA on their page. If you do not have an eye for illegitimate internet drugstore, you will become susceptible to these risks:
- You might lose your money and ends up receiving nothing. Some illegitimate online drug shops close down after a week or two. They will change their domain name and find new potential victims. Once a customer processed an order, they will close the website and hide with the customer’s money
- You might put your health at risk if you will receive fake medicines. Illegitimate internet dispensaries are selling medicines at the lowest price possible because their medicines are fake. Since they are not spending much on their products, they can still earn even if their prices are low. However, taking a fake medicine can be risky and bad for your health
- You might abuse your medication. The risk of dealing with an illegitimate e-dispensary is that they allow people to order prescription medicines even without a prescription. Prescription medicines are prescribed because they are prone to abuse. Some prescription medicines should be taken properly in order to achieve maximum result yet if you will take it incorrectly, it can lead to serious health issues
- The risks of becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud. Illegitimate online pharmacies are designed to capture your personal information and important data like your credit card number among others. These illegitimate online pharmacies will use it to take advantage of your information and steal your money thru fraudulent activities
Remember that finding a legitimate online pharmacy is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You need to squint your eyes, read everything on their site and check for customer reviews to determine if they are telling the truth or not. Another thing, always check the age of the online pharmacy you are dealing with. If the website’s domain is just a few days or months old, that is a red flag.
Knowing if your online pharmacy is legitimate is the first step towards a better medication. We all want to get better without spending too much on mediation and this is the reason why we prefer to do our shopping online. However, if we will fall to scammers and fraudulent websites, we will end up losing not just our money but also our remaining health.
Legit online pharmacies are like your local dispensaries, they offer medicines at a regular price (but slightly lower) and they always ask for a prescription. They also offer to do cash on delivery of orders. If you will use your credit card for payment, they will require a security pin. Most of all, they should have an FDA logo and that their domain name should be verifiable with the FDA.