In today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on prescription medication. This is thanks to the power and pervasive nature of the internet. Worryingly, many of these prescription drugs are counterfeit, which can lead to devastating health consequences.
There are a number of reasons people may choose to source their prescription medications online. It’s convenient, it’s generally cheaper, and it’s discreet. However, many disreputable companies have cottoned on to the popularity of ordering medications online and are not afraid to take full advantage.
In order to safely buy drugs online, you need to know what to look for and what to avoid. Learn more in this blog…
Safely Buy Drugs Online with These Top Tips
While there are numerous benefits to buying prescription drugs online, it is still considered ”risky” because of the many fake online dispensaries that populate the internet. The dangers of purchasing illegitimate online prescriptions include:
- Consuming outdated, sub-par, or harmful drugs
- Consuming drugs that have little to no quality control in terms of preparation or packaging
- Not receiving the right medication that you’ve already paid for
- Consuming the wrong medication for your specific condition, which can worsen your state of health
Here are some of the best tips to keep in mind when choosing an online dispensary to order your medications from:
- Ensure the Site is 100% Reputable
There are a few important characteristics to look for in a reputable online pharmacy. A legitimate site will always require a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. They are generally aligned with a licensed pharmacy that has a good reputation in the U.S. or Canada.
A legitimate site will also offer a qualified pharmacist to answer all your queries, and will only sell FDA-approved medications. These sites outline clear policies that protect your privacy as a consumer, too.
Don’t be fooled by a site that asks you to fill out a questionnaire, instead of offering a valid prescription. These questionnaires do not count as the same thing. Finally, it’s important to look out for the NABP seal of approval for all Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS®). If you have any doubts, you can always check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NAPB) if the site is legitimate.
- Never Shop From Foreign Sites
Remember that online pharmacies outside of the U.S. and Canada are not regulated the same way that U.S. pharmaceuticals are. Even if the site is reputable and so is the company, you cannot be 100% sure of the quality of medication they sell.
U.S. and Canadian online pharmacies sell FDA-approved medications that contain a seal of approval by the NAPB. To add to this, it’s considered illegal to import drugs from outside the U.S., from a foreign site. This means that you won’t be able to seek help from the U.S. government if you are sold an illegitimate product or have a severe reaction.
- Don’t Fall For Unreasonable Claims
As the saying goes, if something seems ”too good to be true”, it generally is. This applies to online pharmacies that make bold, unreasonable claims about the medications they sell.
Beware of statements such as ”a miracle cure” and ”offers amazing results right away”. These claims are not backed by legitimate science and intend to draw you in and dupe you into buying a low-quality or harmful product.
- Do Your Research on Prices
Generally, online prescription medication is a little less expensive than purchasing from big brand stores. However, the price margin is not excessive and may vary by a couple of dollars here and there. This is important to keep in mind when shopping for prescriptions online.
Illegitimate online pharmacies tend to sell their medications at highly discounted rates. In fact, if you find yourself wondering why the price is so low, this is a major red flag.
If you have your doubts about the price of medication online, call your local drugstore and find out the in-store price for comparison. Many legitimate online pharmacies include cover from health insurance plans, so you should be able to buy your medication online and still save money.
Other Signs of a Rogue Online Pharmacy
It can be difficult to instantly spot a rogue online pharmacy. Today, many of these sites look professional and legitimate, but there are a few additional red flags that can help you recognize a fake site:
- A rogue online pharmacy will not openly display a street address i.e. they are not easy to find in the U.S. or Canada
- They are located outside of the U.S. and offer to ship worldwide
- There is no clear information on how to directly contact the pharmacy if needs be
- The site tends to spam you with unsolicited emails about very cheaply priced medication
- There is no clear display of a certified VIPPS® seal
As mentioned, it’s dangerous to buy medications from these sites as the drugs either have too much or too little active ingredient. This can be harmful as these illegitimate drugs can only worsen pre-existing conditions. In other words, they fail to treat your condition, or can exacerbate your symptoms.
To add to this, the wrong type of active ingredient can interact with other medications you may be taking. This could have devastating consequences such as severe allergic reactions. Many illegitimate medications are not stored properly, either. This means a lack of adequate temperature control can render the medication completely useless. So you’re essentially paying for nothing.
Expand Your Personal Knowledge and Protect Your Health
In order to safely buy drugs online, you should always do so with caution, which is backed by research. It’s better to know too much than too little about an online dispensary. So be sure to apply this knowledge the next time you intend to buy medication online.
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