You may buy drugs online through a national pharmacy chain or a mail-order program offered by your health insurance. Although you will come across many legitimate online drug stores, you should know that there are those not licensed in the United States. There are even those that are not pharmacies at all. This is why it’s important for everyone to be selective.
To ensure good health and finances, here are some reminders for those who want to buy drugs online.
-Consult your doctor
Take only medications prescribed by your doctor. He or she knows which particular drug is safe for you and which ones are not. Your doctor can also suggest other effective treatments when necessary.
-Use a Licensed Pharmacy
Check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. They can tell you if a certain online pharmacy is licensed and in good standing. The site must have a seal of approval from the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS).
-Make sure the Site uses Registered Pharmacists
Good sites offer toll-free access to registered pharmacists who can address the concerns of consumers. Some online drug stores have brick-and-mortar stores also. If you have certain questions about a drug or you’re concerned about drug reactions, speak to the pharmacist in person.
-Understand the Policies
Before you buy drugs online, read and understand the privacy and security policies. Sensitive information like your credit card number, personal health records and other personally identifiable information should be protected.
-Don’t use sites that bypass prescriptions.
Online drug stores that distribute medication without valid prescription are actually violating U.S. law. Don’t choose websites that give prescriptions under the condition you will complete an online questionnaire. Only your personal doctor can do that.
-Be careful with your Purchase
Don’t order drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s illegal to import unapproved drugs into the United States. This may lead to life-threatening situations. Read online pharmacy reviews as these will let you know if the drugs are effective and safe to use. Online pharmacy reviews are reliable sources of information.
-Look for contact information
Make sure the website has a functioning phone number and an existing address. Keep away from sites that list foreign contact information. Make sure you use U.S. pharmacies.
-Don’t keep complaints quiet
If your order does not arrive and you find some unauthorized charges on your credit card, report it to the FDA. Speaking up can help make the marketplace safer for online shoppers such as yourself.
Be assertive and Take control
Whether you fill your prescription at a local pharmacy or online, make sure you get what the doctor ordered by checking the following:
Does the dosage match the prescription?
Is your name printed correctly on the medication label?
Is the packaging intact?
Is the name of the medication correct?
Is the expiration date clearly listed?
Read online pharmacy reviews and should you have any other questions or concerns, check with your doctor. A simple phone call can help avoid serious mistakes.