Making Sure that You Buy from the Right Online Pharmacy
Online pharmacies are relatively new conveniences that have developed with the advent of online retail. Just as many other retailers have shifted their growth efforts to expanding their online businesses, the pharmaceutical industry has recognised that there is a need for more convenient, less expensive options when it comes to filling prescriptions.
Online pharmacies, also known as Internet pharmacies or mail-order pharmacies, typically function in the same fashion as a brick and mortar pharmacy, just with heightened convenience and often at a lower cost.
A technician fills a prescription once it is received, and the prescription is then shipped directly to your door. You’re able to skip long pharmacy lines and hours of waiting around for a prescription to be filled, leaving you more time to rest up, get better or do things you actually enjoy.
While Internet pharmacies are high in convenience, they are still a newer development. This means that there is some potential risk involved when using an online pharmacy as regulations get solidified and as less than legitimate “pharmacies” get rooted out.
Thus, customers should take care to order their prescriptions from the right Internet pharmacy. With a little research, you can find a quality, accredited online pharmacy. Good Internet pharmacies are reliable, safe and follow the laws of the countries they operate in.
So, how do you make sure that the pharmacy you’re ordering from is a good one? Ask yourself the following questions before you send in your prescriptions to make sure you’re getting the safe and positive experience you deserve.
Is It Accredited?
The easiest way to tell whether or not an online pharmacy is safe to get prescriptions from is to find out whether or not it is accredited.
Different countries have different standards and ways of accrediting online pharmacies, but any accredited pharmacy will proudly display that label on their site for all to see. If you research an online pharmacy and you can’t find any information on its legality or reputation, that should be a red flag. Any trustworthy Internet pharmacy won’t make any attempts to hide the fact that it’s completely safe and legal.
In the United Kingdom, legal online pharmacies that have been accredited and registered with the government will display a green cross logo on their website. This means that they meet specific regulations and are deemed as safe for consumers to use.
It is vital for patients interested in Internet pharmacies to use accredited pharmacies. This minimises risks for the patient’s health and promotes good business practises amongst Internet pharmacies.
Do I Need a Prescription to Purchase Medicine?
Because online pharmacies often operate internationally, they can fall under different regulations than the regulations of your home country.
For example, certain countries don’t require prescriptions to buy drugs. Some have taken this as sort of a loophole to getting prescription medications that they otherwise should not have by purchasing them internationally.
While an Internet pharmacy can choose to not require prescriptions and still be considered legitimate under its country’s regulations, it’s better for you as a consumer to be safe rather than sorry. Some of these “pharmacies” are little better than pill-mills, potentially buying fake or poorly manufactured drugs and selling them to consumers at higher prices.
By always ordering your medications through online pharmacies that require, recognise and verify your prescription, you are participating in a legitimised system and leaving no room for question or error.
Does the Pharmacy List Its Location?
Another easy way to tell a legitimate Internet pharmacy from a scam or potentially dangerous one is by simply checking the address listed on its website.
Any credible Internet pharmacy is run out of a physical location in the country its licensed in, and this address will be prominently displayed somewhere on their website. If you can’t find an address on a pharmacy’s website, do not proceed with any prescriptions through this site.
If you do find an address, make sure you search it online first to test its legitimacy and make sure it’s not a fake address. Most online pharmacies will also list a phone number that you can call to test as well. By taking a few seconds to run these tests, you can help validate whether or not an online pharmacy is right for you.
Does the Pharmacy Guarantee Confidentiality?
Just like with any doctor’s office or brick and mortar pharmacy, an Internet pharmacy should provide its customers with a policy on patient confidentiality. You and the medical professionals that you consent to show it to should be the only ones to ever view your patient information.
Accredited online pharmacies will have no qualms or issues with providing you their policy on confidentiality and privacy. Be sure to read through the policy to make sure it covers all of your bases, just like you would read through a doctor’s office’s forms on confidentiality before signing the paperwork. If an Internet pharmacy cannot provide you with this information, then you know to steer clear of using them to fill your prescriptions.
Does This Pharmacy Use Spam or Solicitation?
This question goes hand in hand with the last question. A reputable pharmacy, online or not, will never sell your information to third parties, use your information to spam you or use unencrypted systems for financial transactions.
If any sort of process or feature of an online pharmacy doesn’t feel right in your gut, try a different one. A legitimate and safe Internet pharmacy will feel legitimate and safe during your consultation, prescription submission and final delivery
Online pharmacies are one of the wonderful ways that our digital world has helped innovate everyday processes. However, because it is such a new system, there is some level of personal responsibility that a consumer must accept when they decide to use an Internet pharmacy.
By asking yourself about the safety, legitimacy and quality of an online pharmacy’s processes, policies and products, you are safeguarding yourself from potential harm and opening yourself up to a new world of convenience. Take the time to do some research and find the right online pharmacy for you. It won’t be a choice that you regret.