Online pharmacies offer drugs at cheaper and more flexible rates. Of course, you can save money buying medications online. But you need to be careful and wary of fraudulent online pharmacies. If you are planning to purchase meds from an Internet pharmacy, you need to be sure that the pharmacy is a trustworthy and reliable one that is managed by experienced pharmacists. There are also certain other things you need to check before ordering online. Below are a few tips to a safe purchase of drugs online.
1. Check if the pharmacy is licensed: Very, very important. If you have found a good pharmacy which you think has all that you need, check if it is licensed. The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has setup quality controls for all pharmacies in the United States. Check if the pharmacy you have chosen has a license from the National Association of Board of Pharmacies (NABP) and if it has a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site (VIPPS) seal on its website.
2. Check the physical address of the pharmacy: Yes, if the pharmacy is a legitimate one, it should have a physical address which is verifiable. The FDA recommends that you choose pharmacies that are in the United States and have a US state license.
3. Does the site ask for prescription? Check this. If the site does not ask for prescription, then chances are that it is unfair in its practices. Because, as per the NABP rules, a pharmacy is not allowed to give medications without prescriptions. If it is an authentic pharmacy, it should ask for prescriptions by licensed medical doctors to you.
4. Is there a licensed pharmacist? If you want drugs that are generic and that which do not require prescriptions, you need to have access to a licensed pharmacist in the pharmacy who can answer your questions regarding drugs and explain things to you. You need to have someone who can detail you on the pros and cons of a generic medicine.
5. Check the pharmacy’s payment process: What mode of payment does the pharmacy advocate? Is it safe for transactions? How secure are your payment processes? Who gets to know your username, password and account details? Can you be sure that your net banking or credit card account details are safe in the hands of the pharmacy? Check all these before you sign up for a pharmacy online.
6. Compare prices: Online pharmacies offer lower prices on drugs. But that does not mean that you ought to stick to the pharmacy you have chosen. Compare prices of the drugs listed in your pharmacy with other Internet pharmacies. Even some offline pharmacies offer medications for lower prices. So, check before you order.
7. Check the pharmacy for fraudulence: Check on pharmacy forums and other online medical communities on the pharmacy in which you plan to buy your medications. Other users may let you know about the pharmacy’s distinct nature and whether or not you can trust it.
8. Contact a doctor and get your prescriptions: Contact a doctor and get your prescriptions for 3 or 6 months. Better to get all your medications at one go as you may get discounts from online pharmacies. Also, check with the doctor on whether parallel generic medications can be used instead of branded varieties. If yes, it would be very useful as generic medications are available at cheaper rates than brand-names.