Buying medicines on the internet is tempting. Online pharmacies provide better prices, home delivery services, and the convenience of purchasing medications online from home. If you need to buy medicines regularly, you may find it simpler to order online rather than making weekly trips to the drugstore.
However, not all online pharmacies may be reliable. Sometimes, rogue pharmacies claim to offer prescription drugs at a discounted price and mislead patients. These pharmacies don’t follow the safeguards like licensed pharmacies. They are often prepared to sell medicines without asking for a valid prescription. The drugs they thus provide may even be counterfeit or unapproved, endangering your safety.
The good news is that you can easily avoid such rogue pharmacies by following some simple checkpoints. MedsNow experts bring you four simple tips to help you check your online pharmacy and confirm authenticity before making a purchase.
How to choose an online pharmacy?
The dispensing of medicinal products is subject to special statutory regulations by the state. Only sellers who have received the appropriate authorization to sell drugs. When using the services of an online pharmacy, you should inquire about the legality of its activities.
There are many providers who operate outside the legal sphere. They pay no taxes and can offer prices that are too cheap to be true. But behind these supposed benefits are risks. Nobody guarantees the quality of the order. Users often do not get the medication they want. It is not uncommon for counterfeit medicines to be sold.
A big mistake is to look for medicines in ordinary markets (Amazon and eBay etc.).). In principle, you are not allowed to do business to sell medical devices (exception: American Amazon Pharmacy).
What drugs are de jure sold in online pharmacies?
There is no complete list of drugs that can be purchased from an Internet pharmacy. Various uncontrolled substances are often offered on the internet.
major standard drugs that can be searched online include:
- Male erectile dysfunction medications (Sildenafil, Cialis, etc.)
- Drugs to quit smoking (Champix)
- Weight loss drugs (Saxenda, Xenical)
- Asthma & COPD medicine
- Medicine for women like contraceptive pills, period delay & many more
The purchase of the aforementioned drugs in standard pharmacies is terribly often associated with the inconvenience for the patient. For example, a person does not want the seller to see his problems with potency. Remote communication with the provider eliminates embarrassment and feelings of insecurity.
Here are the things to check before ordering medicines from an online pharmacy:
- Check Legitimacy of the Online Pharmacy – All pharmacies, online and offline, require a license to sell prescription medicines. Visit a pharmacy verification platform online to check if your pharmacy has the requisite license before buying. You can find various government-run websites that list licensed pharmacies in your city or state.
- Requires a Valid Prescription – All legitimate pharmacies follow responsible selling practices. Legitimate online pharmacies do not activate the option to purchase until a valid prescription is uploaded and approved. Therefore, if your online pharmacy does not ask you for a valid prescription, it may not be a licensed online pharmacy.
- Order Tracking – Always choose an online pharmacy that allows you to track your order and share your shipment status. Usually, licensed online pharmacies partner with third-party logistical companies like FedEx, UPS, or others to enable accurate tracking.
Signs of a Rogue Online Pharmacy
Here are some signs you can watch out for in an online pharmacy to check if they are legitimate or not.
- They do not have a licensed pharmacist to answer your questions through call or chat.
- They offer deep discounts that sound too good to be true.
- The website sends you several spam e-mails and aggressively advertises cheap medicines
- You cannot find their license on the website.
- They are located outside your country but ship worldwide at low prices.
Buy medicines online only from a licensed and legitimate online pharmacy for your safety and the safety of your loved ones. Even though shopping for medications online is easier, you should not be tempted to make a rash purchase or self-medicate using a rogue online pharmacy.
Always do a thorough check to verify if the website you are purchasing from, has the authority to sell the medication. Ensure that they are following all the regulations and talk to their online pharmacist if you have any questions about their policies.
Krishma Patel is the Co-founder and the Superintendent Pharmacist at MedsNow, an online pharmacy in the UK that provides health
and wellness products and treatments along with free online consultations. She is passionate about showcasing the integral function community pharmacies can play in supporting the healthcare system and the NHS by providing patients with high quality, safe and discreet access to healthcare at their convenience. Along with being the co-founder of MedsNow, Krishma is also the Director and the Superintendent Pharmacist of Enimed Ltd., an independent pharmacy group comprising 32 branches.
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