Buying Prescription Medications Online? Look Out for These Warning Signs

It's tempting to buy prescription medication online. Many online pharmacies often offer deals that are unattainable at your local drug store, and the majority of them accept credit cards online, making it even more convenient to buy from them. 

Buying Prescription Medications Online? Look Out for These Warning Signs

But the Internet is also awash in counterfeit remedies that can be dangerous or altogether fake.
Protect yourself, your family, and your health by making sure you avoid unscrupulous online pill dealers - your life might depend on it.

Buying fake or compromised pills is not worth the money you save by buying online.

A Dark Corner of the Internet

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, many unethical websites are not real, licensed pharmacies and can give you the wrong medication and fail to protect your private medical and financial information. 
They often sell medicine that is fake, including counterfeit or copycat medicine; is too strong or too weak; has dangerous ingredients; is expired; isn't FDA approved; isn't safe to use with other medications you take; or hasn't been shipped, stored, or labeled correctly.

Know Your Provider

Pharmacies, like most other businesses, often sell their products online. They are safe, secure, and reputable. Make sure you're buying your prescription from a state-certified pharmacist who is in good standing and located in the United States by checking with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
A legit operation should always have a pharmacist on hand to answer your questions; they will never attempt to diagnose an ailment or prescribe medication and will always require a prescription.

Never Obtain a Prescription Online

Go to the doctor. A doctor has to see you to diagnose you. If an online pharmacy has a "doctor" on hand who will prescribe medicine after reviewing an online questionnaire, a red flag should go up right away. 
These operations are in the business of selling pills, and after looking at your questionnaire, they may find a disease to match the cure they've already decided to sell you. 

According to the NABP, at least half of the online operations that prescribe medicine are located outside of the U.S., immune to American regulations and standards.

Inspect Upon Arrival

When your pills come, compare them to an index of pills. Every prescription should have a batch number. Make sure the color, size, and shape are identical. Never take any pills that are broken or chipped, and always check for package tampering. 
Make sure you know who you're buying from when purchasing pills online.


Final Word

Finding deals online is great, but medicine is in a class by itself when it comes to fraud and deceit portrayed by predators looking to cash in on naïve customers who are soothed by hearing the words "doctor" or "pharmacy." Protect yourself by always following FDA guidelines, and never deal with a pharmacy that doesn't.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles who writes about online fraud.

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1 comment:

  1. The internet is awash with plenty of copycat formulas or shady marketing techniques. Good point. Another thing worth considering, whenever buying an medication or product online or offline, take a close look at the active ingredients on the label. This is mostly what you're investing in. FDA approved ingredients for common skin treatments or even nail fungus treatments are often made up of the same 2-3 ingredients but the inflated prices and varying reviews lead you to believe there is much more going on. Don't fall for it!


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