Tips for Buying Medications Online

You can save time and money by buying medications online. But can you be sure that vendor is legitimate? With hundreds of medication-selling websites, how can anyone be sure the site is legitimate.   It is very easy to set up a professional looking site and offer high discounts.

Here are some dangers that you need to be aware of if you plan to buy medications online:

  • Buying medications from an illegal website puts you at risk. You may receive a contaminated or counterfeit product, an incorrect dose, the wrong product, or no product at all.
  • Taking an unsafe medication can lead to dangerous drug interactions and other serious health consequences.
  • Getting a prescription drug by filling out a questionnaire without seeing a doctor poses serious health risks. A questionnaire doesn’t offer enough information to a healthcare provide to know whether that drug is safe for you or not.

FDA Tips to buy medications online

FDA has offered these tips for consumers to make their decisions while buying their medications online.

1. Make sure it’s licensed

Check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to know whether a website is licensed and has a good reputation or not.

2. Don’t forget to check VIPPS seal

Make sure to check for the VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) seal on the site before buying your medications. If the site has VIPPS seal, it means the site was screened and approved by the NABP.

3. Don’t buy if you’re not asked for a prescription

Don’t buy medications from a site that offer prescription drugs without any physical test or prescription. If the website doesn’t ask for a prescription, you might get the wrong medicine.

4. Look for the ‘dot pharmacy’

If an online pharmacy has a domain name with “.pharmacy” extension, you can buy medicines from this site. The sites that follow the law can use this domain extension.

5. Other things to consider

  • Don’t buy medicines from the sites that don’t have a registered pharmacist to answer your questions.
  • Avoid buying from the sites that do not provide an U.S. address and phone number to contact in case of any problem.
  • Be careful of websites that include undocumented case histories claiming “amazing” results.
  • Make sure to consult with your healthcare professional before using any medications for the first time.

Consumers who suspect that a site is illegal can report it to the FDA at www.fda.gov/oc/buyonline. For more information, you can also visit U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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