How Do I Find a Legitimate Online Pharmacy?
It’s a smart move to exercise caution when considering purchasing medications from an online pharmacy. There are vast arrays of questionable suppliers and distributors of popular drugs on the internet, and any 2-minute Google search will confirm their widespread availability.
Many of these counterfeit e-pharmacies offer prescription medicines at slashed prices without requiring a valid prescription issued by a licensed physician, and others who use marketing tactics and savvy web development practices to help customers assume their local groups that can be trusted.
There are, however, many reputable and professional online pharmacies that not only provide convenience and excellent customer experience, but who also go the extra mile to earn the patronage of their clientele. In this post, we’ll explain some of the top ways to find a legitimate online pharmacy.
Rogue Pharmacy Red-flags
Knowing full well there are legitimate pharmacies online prompts the need for comprehensive knowledge and a list of warning signs for those considering using the services of an online medicine supplier. Beware of rogue pharmacies that:
- Will happily sell medications with no valid prescription from a registered healthcare provider or physician.
- Do not feature a US and/or Canadian licensed pharmacist who can answer customer questions and address concerns in real-time (over the phone).
- Offer substantially lower prices than their competition.
- Send email chain letters soliciting inexpensive medication sales or prescription refills.
- Sell or promote medications that feature an active medicinal ingredient in a quantity that is inconsistent with other sites and/or pharmacies.
- Sells or promotes medications that do not feature the correct active ingredient required to treat your applicable disease or condition.
- Contain potentially harmful ingredients or fillers.
Further to these warning signs, the United States Food and Drug Administration posts a regularly updated BeSafeRx site that can help shoppers accurately and quickly identify fake online pharmacies.
Legitimate Online Pharmacy Signs
Provides a Real Street Address & Phone Number
As with any online purchase, you should only be purchasing prescription drugs from sources and locations you can trust. If you live in the US or Canada, sticking to those countries of origin is your best bet for a hassle-free purchase. Legitimate online pharmacies will feature a real street address that you can confidently confirm using either a local contact, making a phone call and cross-confirming the geographic area code, and checking out Google Maps for physical evidence of their presence at their featured address. If one or more of these factors doesn’t add up, you may be dealing with an illegitimate pharmacy.
They Earn Good Ratings
Online pharmacies are an industry that is constantly the subject of question and hesitation, so a reputable and trustworthy online pharmacy will make it their business to give their customers peace of mind by earning positive reviews and business certifications from organizations like BBB. A Better Business Bureau rating will assign the business a grade from A+ to F, based on
- The type of business it is
- The length of time they’ve been in operation
- Certified business background information
- Adherence to advertising standards
- Complaint history
They Have Strong Online Security Policies & are HIPAA Compliant
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for protecting patient data that may be sensitive in nature. “Any pharmacy or other company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed,” according to Online Tech.
Personal, medical, and financial information submitted to your online pharmacy should be privy to a comprehensive online security policy, and as a customer, you should not have to search very hard to locate your pharmacy’s mantra and/or policy for how they protect that information. Reputable online pharmacies should never rent, sell, or share this privileged information with any third party, regardless of its legality. Financial information like credit card numbers and bank accounts should also be protected, and a good pharmacy will make it clear how they keep your info safe.
They Employ a Licensed Pharmacist & Allow Customers to Speak With Them
Buying prescription drugs should be similar o buying a car, or any other major investment – instead of investing in a material asset, you’re investing in your health — what’s more important than that?
If you feel you are unaware, or have little knowledge about potential side effects, or what the prescription is supposed to help with, your pharmacy should direct your questions to their very own licensed pharmacist. Professional and legitimate online pharmacies proudly feature a phone number for customers to call when they have concerns or questions about their prescriptions. Any pharmacy that does not offer the help of a licensed pharmacist, may be rogue.
They Require Valid Prescriptions From Licensed Doctors
This one seems a little too obvious, but a primary red-flag of many rogue or illegitimate online pharmacies do not require a valid prescription from their customers. This is often due to the fact that these businesses claim to sell pharmaceutical drugs, and do so by selling counterfeit medicines that look identical to the real deal while they contain no active ingredient, or harmful fillers. Never, ever, order medications you need from an online pharmacy that doesn’t require a prescription.
At the root of this business, caring for one another is central to the values of all pharmacies.
Purchasing medication can be matter of life and death. Many patients not only depend on the validity and effectiveness of their medications, but their families and loved ones do as well. It’s for this reason, and this reason alone, that rogue online pharmacies jeopardize the nature of online pharmacies that are dedicated to providing convenient, and professional pharmacy services to their customers.