How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy

How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy

How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy

How to Buy Medicines Safely From an Online Pharmacy

Have you ever been tempted to purchase your medications from an online pharmacy or another website?

Use caution when purchasing medications online to protect yourself and your family. There are numerous pharmacy websites that operate legally and provide convenience, privacy, and security when purchasing medications.

However, the United States Food and Drug Administration warns that there are many rogue online pharmacies that claim to sell prescription medications at deeply discounted prices, often without requiring a valid prescription. These Internet-based pharmacies frequently sell unapproved or counterfeit medications that are not subject to the same safeguards as licensed pharmacies.

These rogue sites frequently prominently display a Canadian flag, but they may be run by criminals from the other side of the world with no ties to Canada. Medicines purchased from these websites can be hazardous to your health.

How can you tell if an online pharmacy is legitimate? BeSafeRx, a service provided by the FDA, can assist you in identifying and avoiding fraudulent online pharmacies.

Signs of a Rogue Online Pharmacy

Beware of online pharmacies that:

  • Allow you to buy prescription medicine without a valid prescription from your health care provider.
  • Do not have a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions.
  • Offer very low prices that seem too good to be true.
  • Send spam or unsolicited email offering cheap medicine.
  • Are located outside of the United States or ship worldwide.
These pharmacies often sell medicines that can be dangerous because they may:
  • Have too much or too little of the active ingredient you need to treat your disease or condition.
  • Not contain the right active ingredient.
  • Contain the wrong or other harmful ingredients.

The active ingredient is what makes the medicine effective for the illness or condition it is intended to treat. If a medicine has unknown active ingredients, it could fail to have the intended effect, could have an unexpected interaction with other medicines you are taking, could cause dangerous side effects, or may cause other serious health problems, such as serious allergic reactions.

Know the Signs of a Safe Online Pharmacy

There are ways you can identify a safe online pharmacy. They:

  • Require a valid prescription from a doctor or another licensed health care professional.
  • Receives licenses by your state board of pharmacy, or equivalent state agency. (To verify the licensing status of a pharmacy check your state board of pharmacy.)
  • Have a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions.
  • Are in the United States, and provide a street address.

Another way to check on a website is to look for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesTM Seal, also known as the VIPPS® Seal. This seal means that the Internet pharmacy is safe to use because it has met state licensure requirements, as well as other NABP criteria.

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