How to Safely Buy Medication Online
Category: Ordering Questions
Posted on September 30, 2022
Scott is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys writing on various topic surrounding these fields. Scott lives in Seattle and spends his free time restoring old furniture and playing pickleball with his friends.
How to Safely Buy Medication Online
If you live in the United States, you likely know how expensive American healthcare has become. An estimated 18 million Americans can't afford their medications, including life-saving prescriptions.
The good news is that online Canadian pharmacies can help patients access affordable medications all over the globe. However, shopping for medication online requires caution.
We're here to tell you what to look for in an online pharmacy and how to buy medication online safely. With this guide, you can access affordable medication without worrying that your privacy or health is at risk.
Read on to learn everything you need to know to buy medication online the right way.
What Is an Online Pharmacy?
An online pharmacy is exactly what it sounds like. Legitimate pharmacies have the same capabilities as a brick-and-mortar pharmacy without the need to go to a brick-and-mortar location. This includes:
- prescription fulfillment
- automatic refill options
- pharmacy consultations
- notifications about your prescriptions
- confidentiality and information protection
Instead, you can fill your prescriptions and have them sent straight to your home without ever stepping outside. That means that online pharmacies aren't just cheaper than brick-and-mortar pharmacies. They're more convenient and accessible to people regardless of transportation options, age, health status, and more.
How do you contact an online pharmacy? As long as you provide your prescription, you can place your order over the internet, over the phone, or by chatting with an online representative.
Do Online Pharmacies Have Any Limitations?
Online pharmacies can do a lot of the same things that brick-and-mortar pharmacies can do. Are there any limitations? There are a few that some patients should be aware of.
For example, there are some classes of medication that online pharmacies can't legally sell. This includes many prescriptions that require more supervision, like benzodiazepines (ie Xanax or Klonopin). Some patients may need to get some medications from their brick-and-mortar pharmacy, but that doesn't mean that you can't also fill certain prescriptions online.
Another difference is that many online pharmacies do not do drug compounding. Drug compounding is the process of combining or altering ingredients in one or more medications. Some people prefer compounded medications because they are formulated to target multiple illnesses or disorders.
It's worth noting that only certain brick-and-mortar pharmacies participate in drug compounding. If you are seeking a drug compounding pharmacy, you will need to do additional research to find the pharmacy that can fulfill your needs.
Why Online Pharmacies are Cheaper
We've talked about online pharmacies as a cheaper option than many brick-and-mortar pharmacies, especially those in countries like America. The question is, how do online pharmacies keep consumer costs low? Let's take a closer look by talking about low upfront costs, generic medications, and accessibility for uninsured or underinsured patients.
Low Upfront Costs
There are a lot of popular and familiar pharmacy chains in North America. Popular choices in America include CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. It's easy to assume that these huge corporations are making plenty of money and don't rely on customers to cover their upfront costs, but this isn't quite the case.
Chain pharmacies have to pay a huge staff as well as the rent and bills for thousands of buildings. Online pharmacies don't have the same obligations. In fact, many online pharmacies are able to fulfill their international customers' needs from one or a few locations, which helps to keep upfront costs low.
When pharmacies save money on upfront costs, customers benefit.
When we talk about common or popular prescription drugs, we tend to refer to them by their name brand. Name brand drugs are typically the first on the market of their kind. This is important when it comes to understanding drug pricing.
A new drug must undergo rigorous testing to:
- get the formula right
- prove effective at treating the intended disorder, disease, or symptoms
- determine potential side effects and safety
- meet government standards
All of this costs a lot of money, which is why buying a name brand drug can come with a high price tag. The good news is that after name brand drugs hit the market, generic drugs follow suit.
Generic medications use all of the same active ingredients as their name brand counterparts and also meet government standards. Most patients can take the generic versions of their prescriptions, which can yield some serious savings. Online pharmacies always offer generic medications, which come with an automatic price drop of up to 90%.
No Insurance Required
In many brick-and-mortar pharmacies, especially in the US, having insurance is going to make a huge difference. Insurance companies often cover hundreds of dollars for their patients, allowing you to pay a small copay. However, many patients are uninsured or underinsured and can't rely on that coverage to afford their medications.
When you buy prescription drugs online, you pay low prices without insurance. If you have insurance, you may be able to obtain reimbursement from your insurance company by providing them with a receipt.
The best part? Many online pharmacies offer coupons that you can redeem when checking out. Each time you fill or refill a prescription, search for applicable coupons that could save you up to 80% on your order.
Finding a Safe Pharmacy Online
Now, for the most important information in this guide. Let's talk about the key qualities you should look for in an online pharmacy, from the requirement of prescriptions to the protection of your information,. Make sure that every box is checked before you buy medication online.
The Importance of Prescriptions
Some medications are sold over the counter and don't require a prescription. That includes medications like low-strength Ibuprofen, cold medicine, and topical creams like Neosporin. However, if a medication requires a prescription in person, it should require a prescription online.
A legitimate online pharmacy will always require proof of prescription for prescription drugs. That means that you will still need to head to your doctor as normal.
If an online pharmacy doesn't ask for a prescription, it's not safe to use. Doing so presents an ethical problem that could indicate other ethical problems, like mislabeling medications.
Online Pharmacy Certification
The good news for consumers is that there is an easy way to verify an online pharmacy. Certification boards like Pharmacy Checker exist to take care of the hard work. They make sure that pharmacies:
- require prescriptions
- possess pharmacy licensing
- prohibit the sale of controlled drugs to US consumers
- meet security standards
- offer pharmacist consultations
- market themselves honestly
If you can't find any seals of certification, you can also head to websites like Pharmacy Checker and perform a search, yourself. If the pharmacy doesn't come up, you're better off looking elsewhere.
When you go to the doctor, you want to know that your information is private. In fact, there are laws protecting that privacy, whether you're seeing your general practitioner, your dentist, or your pharmacist. You should have that same protection when you're buying medication online.
Buying medication online involves sharing your medical information, mailing address, and credit card information. A trustworthy online pharmacy will protect that. Make sure that your online pharmacy has encryption software like the Norton Shopping Guarantee or SSL Security.
Talking to Pharmacy Employees
One reason that consumers like to go to an in-person pharmacy? They want to talk to the pharmacist or trained pharmacy techs.
Being able to have this contact is important. You may have questions about:
- taking multiple medications at once
- medication side effects
- when to take your medication
- whether or not you should take your medication with food
- what could happen if you don't take your medication on time
An online pharmacy shouldn't prevent you from asking the questions you have for your pharmacist. Make sure that there are ways to get in contact with your online pharmacy, whether online or over the phone.
Buy Medication Online With PriceProPharmacy
Trying to afford medications in countries like the United States isn't always easy. A lack of pricing regulations means that a lot of American patients are unable to purchase the medications they need to manage their health. The good news is that you can buy medication online at a fraction of the price, as long as you know how to do so safely.
We hope that our guide to buying medication online has proven helpful. Now, we want to take things a step further and offer our online pharmacy services.
If you're new to PriceProPharmacy, get started with our guide on how to order your medication. Ordering medication online is fast, simple, and affordable.