Online pharmacies have become the most preferred way to get prescription medications today since they’re convenient and offer low prices. With the popularity of these virtual drugstores rising, more and more online pharmacies keep popping up on the Internet.
Health authorities state that more than half of online pharmacies are not legitimate. The drugs they sell may not be safe to use. So how do you identify an online drugstore that is right for you and at the same time legal?
That’s’ where this pharmacy checker guide comes in. Let’s learn more.
Pharmacy Checker Tips
Here is a pharmacy checker guide that will help you choose the right online pharmacy for you.
Physical and Website Address
A legitimate online pharmacy has both a physical address and a legal website. You will know if you are at a reputable online pharmacy if the website address ends with (.pharmacy).
Authorization to get such a domain requires meeting high legal requirements. So this will take out illegal drugstores. Once on their website, check their “contact us” or “home” page to verify their physical location.
A pharmacy indicating to be in the US or Canada will have a street address in those countries. Read more about Canadian online pharmacies.
Licensed Doctor or Pharmacist
It is vital for an online pharmacy to have either a licensed doctor or pharmacist. A specialist like this can refill your prescription and provide medical advice.
Using the information on their website, you can ask for an online consultation to confirm if they have a doctor or pharmacist. If you are not allowed to speak to any of them, you may need to look for another drugstore.
Registration of the Online Pharmacy
A legitimate online pharmacy should have a valid license from the state or province (if in Canada) that it conducts its business. The license number and the name of the regulatory authority that granted it should be on the company’s website.
To verify the legitimacy and validity of the license, you can call this regulatory authority. If you are in the US, you could also confirm if the pharmacy is registered with NABP.
Membership Seal as a Pharmacy Checker
If the pharmacy has a membership seal from an accreditation organization, then the pharmacy is legitimate. Some of these organizations include;
- The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA),
- The Manitoba International Pharmacists Association (MIPA)The Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS),
- The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA),
- Pharmacy Checker
Some rouge pharmacies may display these seals fraudulently to gain customer approval. Yet, they do not adhere to the regulations required for the seal. Thus, once you locate this membership seal, you need to contact the verification authority to confirm if the pharmacy is listed.
A legitimate pharmacy will need a prescription from your doctor before sending the medication. Some may need the original prescription sent to them via email or fax from your doctor. Or they would need to contact your physician to verify it.
In addition to verifying your prescription, they may also need your medical history to ensure they give you safe drugs. A pharmacy that doesn’t need a prescription is breaking the law. Moreover, a reputable pharmacy will not sell experimental drugs or those that have not been approved by the FDA to you.
Be wary of pharmacies online that offer to provide you with a prescription as this is illegal and may not be suitable for your health.
Facts on Drugs they provide
A reliable pharmacy online provides all the necessary facts on the drugs they are offering. These drugs should also have an FDA approval seal on them. Facts on drugs such as the side effects, interactions with other medications, their contraindications, and its manufacturer should be displayed on their website.
Information about your condition, the treatments available, and how they are suitable for you should also be on their site. The more information you get from the online pharmacy’s site, the better your purchase decision will be.
A legitimate online pharmacy should provide different options for its customers to reach them. These could include their email address, phone number, or a live chat. Depending on your needs or concerns, you should be able to contact the online pharmacy and have your concerns addressed quickly.
If you come across a company that does not provide their contact information, then it means that the company does not value feedback from its customers. You should, thus, look for another pharmacy.
Although online pharmacies are popular because of how low their prices are, some may overprice their drugs. So it is always advisable to shop around taking note of the drug price range so as not to get ripped off. On the other hand, be wary of overly low prices as the drugs sold may be counterfeited and could adversely affect your health.
Privacy is one of the most attractive benefits of online pharmacies. A reputable company upholds the confidentiality of its customers’ data. Thus, when scouting for an online pharmacy, ensure that you carefully read their privacy policies.
You may need to pay close attention to clauses on how they handle and protect your data. Also confirm the assurance that they won’t share your data with any third party unless you expressly permit them.
If you have prescriptions covered by a health insurance company, you may ask them to provide you with a list of the best online pharmacies that they work with. Since insurance companies verify the legitimacy of other companies before partnering with them, this could save you a lot of time.
Your Health Is Important
Although online pharmacies tend to be low priced and more convenient, it is essential to differentiate legitimate companies from fraudulent ones. Being able to choose a reputable company is not only the right decision, but it is also paramount to your health. So use this guide as your personal pharmacy checker.
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