Because online drugstores abound on the World Wide Web, it makes distinguishing the safe websites from the scam sites more difficult especially since more and more online pharmacies are setting up shop everyday. And recent news of drug counterfeiting does not help boost the people’s trust on the Internet pharmacy business.
But how can consumers tell if they’re buying from a legitimate site?. And how can they tell if they were sold fake medicines?. Here are some tips to help you make sure that you only buy safe medicine online:· Scan for web-based drugstores whose head offices are located within the United States. In most states, it is still illegal to import prescription drugs from foreign countries. You put yourself at a higher risk of getting ripped off when buying medications from websites whose companies are based outside the United States.
· Verify the online pharmacy’s license. Go to your local pharmacy board’s official website and look for the updated list of accredited web-based pharmacies licensed by the pharmacy board to operate in and dispense medicine to your state.
· Visit the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website to check the list of certified Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). Being in this list assures you that the online pharmacy you plan to buy from has passed strict standards set by the NABP in coordination with the local pharmacy board.
· Buy medicines only from online drugstores that require a valid prescription note from their customers before filling the order. Or look for a Internet pharmacy that offers online consultation if they don’t need a prescription. The prescription note serves as a written confirmation that you have sought the consult of a licensed doctor and have had a physical examination.
· Know your prescription medication – what the box looks like outside, what the product looks like once you take it out of the product wrapper, the exact dose you are supposed to be taking, and the key ingredients in your prescription so that you’ll be able to notice if you’ve been sent the wrong drug or if you’ve been given one with the wrong dose.
· Check product boxes for any signs of tampering. An opened, torn, or deformed box or faded labels may be an indication of a tampered product. Tampered products may be a sign of drug counterfeiting which is fast becoming a serious concern. Counterfeit prescription medications may have hidden ingredients used as fillers that can start a fatal drug interaction or trigger an intense allergic reaction.
· Look for online pharmacies that sell medications at an average price. There are websites on the Internet that has a feature that calculates an acceptable price for web-based drugstores to sell the prescription drugs. Anything lower than the average price can be considered suspicious.
Internet-based drugstores may offer a convenient solution to the problem of obtaining prescription medications at a lower cost, but it doesn’t guarantee the quality that comes with more expensive prescription drugs. The next time you’re going to buy prescription drugs, think twice if you value the money you can save more than your health.