Did you know that about 131 million Americans need some kind of prescription drug? Unfortunately, as certain medications become more expensive, more Americans are finding it harder to get their health and wellbeing up to par.
Luckily, the best online pharmacy can help you get connected with low-cost prescriptions that can get sent straight to your door. So if you want to learn how to find the best online pharmacy, then keep reading!
How to Find the Best Online Pharmacy
When looking at the online pharmaceutical industry, you must ensure they are following legal guidelines. Not doing so, could result in counterfeit products.
So when buying medicine online check with your health insurance. What we mean by this is to ensure the prospective online pharmacy is an approved online seller according to your insurance.
If the pharmacy is not approved by your insurance do more research. Sometimes pharmacies will still be legit but they will not be approved by certain insurance carriers.
Look For a Physical Address
Most online pharmacies will be in the U.S. or Canada. However, if the pharmacy does not hold a real street address, then it can be a red flag. And if the company only holds a P.O. box address then this could mean the pharmacy is not actually located where they claim to be.
In other words, the pharmacy is in a foreign country and uses a PO box to stage their address. This particular situation is very dangerous because other countries do not uphold the same legal standard as the U.S and Canada.
Pay Close Attention to the Prices
Having optimal health does come with a price. So when looking at online pharmacies, ensure the company has realistic prices. Of course, saving money is the goal.
However, if an online pharmacy has unusually low prices, this could be a red flag. Also if an online pharmacy has very high prices then this could also be a red flag. In fact, you should pay close attention to pharmacies that justify high prices by being “leaders” or the “best” in the healthcare industry.
Often time, these are filler words that don’t accurately reflect the companies services. So it’s always best to go with pharmacies like Quickrxrefill.com which price their products right in the middle.
A Doctors Prescription Should Be Required
Any online pharmacies that allow you to call in a prescription yourself are not following legal guidelines. So only buy from pharmacies that require patients get a prescription from a licensed physician.
You should also be careful of an online pharmacy that has its own “doctor” that can write a prescription for you. Oftentimes, these doctors are not licensed. And they give out prescriptions without doing a thorough exam.
Ensure They Don’t Spam You with Deals and Promotions
Believe it or not, a simple way to know the legitimacy of an online pharmacy is by checking your email. If you see that they’re always sending you spam about their “great deals” this could be a huge red flag.
In fact, this could mean that the pharmacy has no real representation. So they only run on spam emails, robots, and third-party distributors.
Other Ways to Find the Best Online Pharmacy
Here are some resources that can help you if you’re still feeling uneasy about a pharmacy. Firstly, you can check the FDA homepage. This government facility works with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy or NABP.
This organization provides up-to-date information on licensed pharmacies. Together they provide VIPPS seal of authenticity to legitimate American-based pharmacies.
If you’re interested in a Canadian-based pharmacy, look at Canada’s own rules and regulations on prescription drugs. Nevertheless, some Canadian pharmacies can apply to the FDA pharmacy program.
This program does not mean the pharmacy has a VIPPS seal but it does mean they are following legal guidelines. You can also check the FDA webpage to ensure any prospective pharmacy is legitimately licensed.
Check on the NABP Homepage
Aside from looking at the FDA home page on prescription drugs, you can also look at the NABP homepage. As stated earlier, this organization works with the FDA.
But they also act as a licensing board to ensure all pharmacies are operating as they should. Luckily, NABP has a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site. This site allows users to check the legitimacy of a pharmacy by checking the following:
- Studying how well the pharmacy protects patient information
- Checking if all HIPPA guidelines are followed
- Checking the way in which prescriptions are filled
- Getting feedback with customers
If the pharmacy follows the above guidelines and they’re based in the US, it will receive the VIPPS seal. Unfortunately, this seal can be copied and put onto any pharmacy website. So always take the extra step and ensure the pharmacy has verification on the FDA or NABP website.
Check on PharmacyChecker
PharmacyChecker is another website that verifies U.S. and foreign online pharmacies. This website is very helpful as well because you can also do price comparisons. Therefore, you will always get the best price on legitimate products.
PharmacyChecker also allows consumers to check the ratings of an online pharmacy based on previous consumer experiences. PharmacyChecker also has its own approval system which includes the following:
- The pharmacy must hold an accurate address and contact information on their website
- The pharmacy must require all consumers to get a prescription from a licensed physician
- The pharmacy must sell medications with a pharmacy licensed in an accepted country
- The pharmacy must follow privacy laws such as HIPAA
If the pharmacy follows these laws, then they are a safe option according to PharamacyChecker. But be aware that the FDA and NABP do have stricter guidelines. So it’s always best to check on all of these platforms before making a choice.
What to Avoid When Buying Foreign Medicines Online
Buying prescription drugs from foreign countries is a huge gamble because the FDA has no way of checking the legitimacy of the product. We often see patients buying generic versions of prescription drugs online.
But even in generic prescriptions, the chances of bad production are still very high. So when buying from Canadian-based websites or other foreign places, do your research.
For example, the PLoS One journal recently published a study in which online prescription drugs were tested. In this test, they found that the popular drug Viagra or “Sildenafil” was counterfeit.
They also found that the drug that was marketed was not the drug that was given to patients. So the patients were taking unknown substances that did nothing for their existing condition. So when looking for an online pharmacy, you should always avoid the following:
- Counterfeit medications
- Unapproved medications
- Medications that are wrongfully marketed
- Medications that don’t need a prescription
- Websites that don’t provide patient confidentiality agreements
All of these red flags should be fully considered when looking at an online pharmacy. Not doing so could affect your health in the long run.
How Illigetiamate Pharmacies Affect Your Health
Illegitimate pharmacies will sell medicines that are very dangerous because they may have the wrong percentage of active ingredients. For example, let’s say you are treating anxiety.
If you get a counterfeit prescription with a high amount of the active ingredient, you could possibly overdose or become impaired. Or let’s say the active ingredient is too low.
In this scenario, your anxiety would persist but you would be paying for the prescription. There are also cases, where the wrong active ingredient is put into the formula.
All of these factors are important because the active ingredient in a drug is what allows it to treat the illness. So if the prescription has the wrong active ingredients, you could possibly develop other ailments.
Or you could have some severe side effects such as vomiting, headaches, tremors, allergies, and even death. And even if the prescription does have the correct active ingredient, an illegitimate pharmacy may not store and ship the product right.
In fact, the temperature of the warehouse could greatly affect the chemical composition of a drug. And this could also cause health problems.
Your Health and Well Being Matters Most
Now that you know more about the best online pharmacy, you can start taking control of health again! Remember your wellbeing comes first so always look for companies that reflect that.
And if you enjoyed this article, please check out the rest of our blogs. We take a look at other medical-related and mental health topics!