Let us say you got to know about the easy, cheap and affordable way in which online pharmacies offer medications. Now, you want to try buying from an online pharmacy. But you do not know any trustworthy pharmacy online and you are doubtful on which pharmacy to choose and which not to. How do you start? There are a few things that can help you find a reliable Internet pharmacy:
1. NABP and VIPPS Approved Pharmacy: Any pharmacy can help you find over the counter drugs at cheap rates online. But the question is, is the pharmacy selling you authentic drugs? Can it be trusted? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works in collaboration with National Association of Board of Pharmacies (NABP) to regulate online pharmacies. The NABP is a professional association that monitors pharmacies in 50 states of the United States. It developed the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program after consumer complaints on several fraudulent online pharmacies posing as legitimate pharmacies. Before you decide on a pharmacy you need to check on whether the pharmacy has NABP license and VIPPS seal on its site. If the pharmacy has both, then you can be assured of its authenticity and proceed further.
2. Counterfeit Drugs of Foreign Pharmacies: There are many fraudulent and illegal pharmacies that sell counterfeit drugs online. These pharmacies sell drugs at cheap rates because they get them manufactured locally, instead of from authorized manufacturers. Such counterfeit drugs can be life-threatening if taken for a prolonged period and hence, it is better if you check the pharmacy’s drugs for authenticity. Sometimes, counterfeit drugs are sold by foreign pharmacies and pharmacies which do not have a state license from NABP. Since the FDA cannot monitor online pharmacies based abroad, it recommends U.S. customers to buy from US-based pharmacies with state licenses.
3. Selling medications without prescriptions: No authorized pharmacy will sell medications without prescriptions in the U.S. If the pharmacy is based abroad and offers to sell medications without prescriptions from doctors, check if they do this only for generic medications or for all medications. Also, verify if they adhere to the regulations in their country. If an online pharmacy offers to sell drugs without prescriptions, then you can be certain that it is unfair in its practices and that it should not be trusted for buying drugs.
4. Check for popular verification seals: Sometimes a pharmacy may use other modes of establishing its authenticity. Tools like Pharmacy Checker evaluate online pharmacies based on prices, customer feedback and publishes price and service comparisons. Unlike NABP, these tools evaluate all pharmacies and measure them based on a five star rating system. So, if you plan to buy medications from an online pharmacy based in a foreign country, you need to look for seals or labels of such pharmacy tools. These tools check a pharmacy and evaluate based on the following processes – dispensation of medications, security of your financial transactions, privacy of your medical and payment information.