Because of the hundreds of Internet pharmacies operating all over the World Wide Web, searching for the best online drugstore has become difficult. And with hundreds more setting up shop everything, telling a legitimate web-based pharmacy from an illegitimate one is now harder.
So how can consumers tell which Internet pharmacies are okay to buy from and which ones to avoid? Here are some pointers to watch out for:
Prescription notes are important.
The law states that all pharmacies need to ask for a valid prescription note from their customers before they can dispense prescription medicines. Internet-based pharmacies are not exempted from this rule. They, too, are required to ask online consumers to present a duly signed prescription note from their consulting physicians before they can sell prescriptions.
However, there are some exceptions to the rules. Certain online drugstores offer the service of a licensed physician to do the consultations online. These prescription drugstores with online physicians appear to be more beneficial for people who are unable to leave their homes to visit the doctor’s office for a consultation.
Be cautious when dealing with online drugstores that offer to sell you prescription medications without asking for a valid prescription note. There is a possibility that you will be sent a knock-off version of the prescription drug you’re buying and end up with an undesirable drug interaction or a serious allergic reaction which could lead to death.
Certification and accreditation.
All land-based pharmacies are required to undergo premise and stocks inspection, along with service quality checks from the local state pharmacy board before they are allowed to start operating and selling prescription medications to the public. For Internet-based drugstores, the different local pharmacy boards worked alongside each other to form the National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to set a standard for online pharmacies to meet. Once these standards are met, Internet pharmacies are then accredited to be part of the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS).
Visit the NABP’s official website for a list of accredited web-based drugstores. Those listed as a VIPPS have passed the NABP’s rigorous inspections and have met the service standards required of a legal online pharmacy.
Your privacy should be protected.
You can’t deny the fact that instances of identity thefts have recently been increasing. It could be attributed to unsecured online databases of online companies, or to opportunistic, Internet-based scam companies that use and/or sell your information.
Keep the Internet safe for the online pharmacy business.
If you chance upon a suspicious web-based drugstore offering to sell prescription medications at dirt-cheap prices and without needing a prescription, contact the NABP. Taking early action against fraudulent Internet pharmacy companies may help protect not only your rights as a consumer, but your health as well.