Are you tired of waiting in long lines at the pharmacy? Maybe you’re too busy or want to stay safe at home. Thankfully, you can save valuable time by purchasing your medication online.
Don’t start comparing medicine prices online yet, though. Before picking medicine online, it helps to have a plan. Otherwise, you might come across a fraudulent online pharmacy.
In fact, only 4% of online pharmacies meet federal and state laws.
About 25% of online customers have already purchased prescription medications from online pharmacies. Knowing how to spot an online medicine store can protect your best interests. Otherwise, you might purchase medication that’s full of harmful fillers.
Don’t put your health at risk. Instead, keep these factors in mind as you review each online medicine store.
Discover how to find a legitimate store with these tips today.
- Spot Scams
Before you start picking medicine online, it helps to know how to identify a scam site. Remember, you don’t want to purchase unsafe, fake medications.
Some fake online pharmacies will send you medications full of fillers. Others will send you the wrong medications. In some cases, however, hackers will steal your private information, including your credit card info.
Learning how to spot a scam will help you protect your health and identity. Otherwise, you might find yourself the victim of identity fraud.
First, remain vigilant and wary of everything you read. About 38% of social media posts promoting prescription medications provided links to fraudulent sites.
Instead, make sure to only trust sites that:
- Provide a physical street address for the pharmacy
- Require you to provide a prescription
- Are licensed by the state you reside in
- Offer consultation with a licensed pharmacist
Otherwise, falling prey to rogue pharmacies could lead you to purchase illegal medications. You might buy counterfeit drugs. Meanwhile, the medications you purchase won’t accomplish your health goals.
Use the rest of these tips to learn how to spot a legitimate online medicine store you can trust.
- Confirm the Prescription
Before picking medicine online, make sure a licensed medication professional asks for your prescription. Make sure you have a doctor’s official prescription, too.
Providing a prescription can ensure you receive the right medication. Otherwise, you might receive the wrong medicine. You could put your health at risk as a result.
In some cases, you could receive medications that aren’t FDA-approved. These medications haven’t completed thorough testing. Taking the wrong medication won’t benefit the reason you need medicine in the first place, either.
Instead, make sure you can speak with a licensed pharmacist. If the website doesn’t provide contact information, shop elsewhere.
Over 25,000 websites fail to comply with patient safety and pharmacy practice standards. Nearly 95% of websites offering prescription-only drugs online operate illegally.
Meanwhile, 89% don’t require a prescription for the sale of prescription-only medicine.
Using these tips will help you avoid these fraudulent websites.
- Look for a License
As you visit each online medicine store website, make sure to check for registration and license information. Make sure they’re licensed and registered in the state they operate in.
You can check the National Associate of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website to make sure the pharmacy is reputable. If they don’t provide their licensing information, scratch that pharmacy off your list.
- Make Sure They’re Approved
While you’re on each website, look for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) seal. The NABP provides this seal to pharmacies that meet state licensure agreements. These pharmacies also meet additional NABP requirements necessary to operate legally.
In order to receive the VIPPS seal, each pharmacy must complete the NABP’s screening process.
They also need to fulfill licensing criteria based on their state’s requirements. Then, a certification team arrives on-site to ensure the company meets these requirements.
If you see the VIPPS seal, you can feel comfortable shopping from that online medicine store.
Otherwise, check the NABP’s Not Recommended Sites list. Their list will help you determine which sites don’t comply with federal laws. These websites often neglect patient safety and best practices.
If a site appears on the NABP’s Not Recommended Sites list, take your business elsewhere. Instead, choose an online medicine store worthy of your trust.
- Consider Security
Don’t rush to start picking medicine online yet! Instead, look at the website’s URL. Make sure you see “HTTPS” in front of the domain name.
You might see a small lock in front of the URL as well.
These factors indicate the website has an SSL certificate, which means the site is secure. Only shop from secure websites. Otherwise, you might put your credit card information at risk.
Look at the end of the URL, too. Do you see “.pharmacy” instead of “.com”? Only companies that are compliant are able to use the “.pharmacy” domain.
Choosing a secure website will give you peace of mind before you start shopping.
- Compare Prices
While you’re online, consider comparing medicine prices. Comparing prices will help you gauge the average. If one price seems too good to be true, it likely is.
Instead, remain wary of any cheap sales. There’s a chance that the reduced price is trying to entice you. Remember, you don’t want to fall victim to a potential scam.
Instead, remain cautious. Comparing medicine prices can help you make a more informed decision before you shop.
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- Read Reviews
Reading online customer reviews can help you make a more informed decision, too.
Determine if each pharmacy has a Google My Business or BBB listing. Consumers can post their reviews on these online directories. If the reviews warn you away from a specific pharmacy, scratch it off your list.
Smart Shopping: 7 Factors to Consider When Picking Medicine Online
Don’t rush to shop from the first online medicine store you come across. Instead, keep these factors in mind when picking medicine online. With these tips, you can become a safe, savvy shopper.
Skip the lines at the pharmacy and start shopping online with these tips today.
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