Technology simplified everything. You can now purchase almost every product you need online from the comfort of your home, including prescriptions from the doctor or over-the-counter medicine. You no longer have to queue at your local chemist or call to make appointments with your pharmacy. However, you must be extra careful in transacting with online pharmacies where you purchase your prescription. If you’re wondering how to go about it, here are the four dos and three don’ts of shopping at an online pharmacy.
Like any other online business, online pharmacies are also subject to scammers selling counterfeit medicine to unaware patients. Consider the following tips to ensure you do not fall prey to such malicious activities.
Do Ensure The Pharmacy Or Pharmacists Are Licensed
One of the most vital things to do before purchasing from any online pharmacy is to check whether the store or its pharmacists are licensed. They must have the legal documentation to sell pharmaceuticals offline or online. Check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy if they’ve been approved. Licensed pharmacists understand the risks of selling counterfeits and have a lot to lose when caught. They’re also unlikely to mix up the prescriptions from different clients.
Also, ensure the online pharmacy from which you buy your prescription adheres to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements. The FDA is the regulatory body that protects humans against harmful medical devices and medicines, food, cosmetics, and biological products. If the drugstore adheres to these regulations, it will likely offer the best services and sell quality drugs.
Do Compare Prices And Transaction Charges
The prices of drugs in an online store may differ from those in a local store. , you may want to compare the costs from an online store with those in a regular store. You don’t want to purchase a drug for twice as much when the physical store is a few blocks away.
Also, compare prices of different online pharmacies. They have varying transaction charges and offers. Some may even offer you a free delivery service, and you’d want to take advantage of this convenience.
Do Watch Out For Counterfeits And False Claims
Shopping at an online pharmacy is convenient but also comes with some risks. You’ll come across many counterfeits and products that promise instant results, and you’ll have to watch out for them.
Steer clear of drugs that offer miraculous results, especially ones you’ve never heard of before. They may have harmful ingredients that may cause serious side effects. It is best to consult your doctor before making any purchase.
Do Check If The Pharmacy Has A Local Physical Address
Before purchasing from any online drug store, ensure it has a local physical address. It’s wise to buy from a pharmacy within the same country and state rather than a foreign one. This way, you’ll avoid delays due to delivery issues. Also, purchasing from a different country may result in dosage variation because each country has its rules regarding compound dosage.
Another reason you should purchase from an online pharmacy with a physical address is that you can easily visit it when there’s a variation between what you ordered and what was delivered, when there are delays, or when you can’t get a hold of them.
There are also a few things you should never do when buying your medicine online to ensure your safety and security. They include the following reminders.
Don’t Purchase From A Store That Bypasses Prescriptions
When purchasing your medicine from an online pharmacy, it’s crucial to ensure they don’t bypass the prescription. Online pharmacies that issue drugs without prescriptions violate the law and may give you the wrong medicine. Don’t let them convince you to accept a drug your doctor didn’t prescribe.
As discussed, some sites go against the law and sell unprescribed drugs. They may even be able to convince you that your symptoms relate to a particular condition. As tempting as this sounds, don’t self-medicate. You may think it’s just the usual headache that will stop once you take a painkiller when it’s a symptom of something serious. Or, you may think it’s something serious when it actually is not.
Visit your doctor for testing. Let him prescribe you some medicine to address your symptoms; then, you can order them online if you prefer buying from an online pharmacy than a local one.
Don’t Provide Personal Information
Some sites offer adequate security for your personal details, while others may not. Therefore, don’t give out your personal information, like credit card numbers, to any site unless you’re sure they can protect your details.
Purchasing your prescription online isn’t that different from buying from a local store. Both need an operating license and the necessary qualifications to run a pharmacy. However, you must be more careful when dealing with online stores to avoid getting counterfeits and expired drugs. Therefore, do your research to find the best and most reliable online pharmacy.