About 3.4 million consumers who ordered medication online from outside the US saved money. Before you rush to buy your medications online, however, think your strategy through. Buying from the first website you come across could make you the victim of a scam.
Instead, use these seven tips to find reputable online pharmacies with ease! Using these tips, you can save money without sacrificing your health. Finding trusted pharmacies online can give you a safe, efficient way to buy what you need.
Discover how to determine an online pharmacy is legit with these easy tips today!
1. Know How to Spot Rogue Pharmacies
Before you learn how to spot reputable online pharmacies, it helps to know what to look for in rogue pharmacies. Learning how to weed out the illegitimate websites can save you a lot of grief. Otherwise, you could put your personal information and health at risk.
Other dangers of falling prey to illegitimate pharmacies include:
- Buying medications that are counterfeit
- Purchasing medications that aren’t legally approved
- Purchasing medications other than what you need
- Leaving your personal information vulnerable to hackers
- Becoming a victim of credit card fraud
The FDA is responsible for regulating prescription drugs in the US. Unfortunately, the FDA can’t confirm imported products are safe.
If you purchase drugs from outside the US, make sure they’re from reputable Canadian pharmacies.
Unfortunately, there are many online pharmacies that aren’t FDA-approved. These websites can exist for a few weeks or months before disappearing. Victims who receive counterfeit drugs from these sites often have a difficult time fighting back.
In fact, about 96% of online pharmacies fail to comply with US federal and state laws and standards.
Learning how to spot potential scams could protect your best interests and health. When exploring different pharmacies, consider it a red flag if the pharmacy:
- Sends unsolicited emails that offer you big deals or cheap medicines
- Doesn’t have a state-licensed pharmacist you can speak with
- Offers super-low prices
- Doesn’t ask for a valid prescription
Trust your gut! If something seems wrong, you can use the rest of these tips to find your best option.
2. Make Sure They Ask for a Prescription
When learning how to spot reputable online pharmacies from scams, first make sure the site asks for a prescription. The pharmacy should ask you for a medical professional’s official prescription before sending you prescription medications. Otherwise, you might fail to receive the right drugs.
You might receive a medication that wasn’t tested or officially approved instead.
If an online pharmacy allows you to require the prescription on your own, consider it a red flag.
An online pharmacy might provide a prescription for you. If they’re writing your prescription without having a medical professional complete an exam first, it’s not legitimate.
Almost 90% of online pharmacies don’t require a valid prescription. Many of these pharmacies are operating illegally. If you’re not asked to provide a prescription, look for another pharmacy.
3. Consult Your Health Insurance
Does your health insurance plan cover your prescriptions? Ask if you can see a list of approved online pharmacies. Acquiring this list from your insurer can help you confirm a company vetted the pharmacy before utilizing them as a supplier.
Does the online pharmacy you’re researching not appear on the list. Don’t worry; it’s not confirmation the pharmacy is illegitimate. Rather, this means your insurance company and the pharmacy aren’t working together.
4. Avoid Unusual Prices
As you start looking for trusted pharmacies, you might notice strange jumps in prices for the same medications. One of the best ways to save money when buying prescriptions is to shop around.
When a price appears too good to be true, however, it usually is.
If a price seems too high or too low, use the rest of these tips to make sure the pharmacy is reputable. When in doubt, cross the pharmacy off your list of options. Instead, look for trusted pharmacies you feel comfortable buying from.
You can visit this website to start exploring prices.
5. Look for a Physical Address
You can also improve your search by exploring the online pharmacy’s website.
Do they have a physical address listed on the website’s footer? Does the pharmacy claim they’re in the US or Canada? Make sure the business is located at a physical street address.
If you’re given a P.O. box address instead, it usually means the pharmacy isn’t providing the proper address.
While you’re on the pharmacy’s website, see if they can provide you with someone to talk to. Is there a state-licensed pharmacist that can answer your questions? Usually, this implies you’ve found a safe online pharmacy.
Look for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS®) Seal, too. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) VIPPS® Seal indicates the online pharmacy is safe. Online pharmacies that meet state licensure requirements and other NABP requirements receive this seal.
6. Check the NABP, FDA, and CIPA
As you continue looking for a reputable online pharmacy, make sure to check the NABP. Remember, the NABP screens online pharmacies by exploring:
- Their methods for filling prescriptions
- How they communicate with customers
- If and how they protect their customer’s information
Some websites have begun using the VIPPS® Seal fraudulently. To double-check that an online pharmacy is NABP-approved, see if the website has “.pharmacy” in the domain. Both US and non-US pharmacies are eligible to apply for this program if they have VIPPS accreditation.
You can also check with the FDA to see if an online pharmacy has any complaints filed against it. Consumers can report pharmacies that are operating illegally to the FDA.
To look for reputable Canadian pharmacies, check with the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA). CIPA has a list of verified online pharmacies you can check to protect yourself from fraudulent companies.
7. Consult PharmacyChecker
Is PharmacyChecker legitimate? Yes! You can use PharmacyChecker to verify US and foreign stores are licensed in the US, Canada, or another country.
These pharmacies also have a valid prescription from a licensed physician.
You can use PharmacyChecker to compare prices and read reviews from customers like you, too!
Choose Ones You Can Trust: 7 Tips for Finding Reputable Online Pharmacies
Don’t shop from the first online pharmacy you find. Instead, use these tips to find reputable online pharmacies you can trust. With these tips, you can purchase the medications you need with peace of mind.
Don’t put your health on the backburner. Instead, read up on the latest health and fitness tips! Explore our recent posts for more helpful guides today.