In the modern world of today, most of our shopping can be done online. For the past few years, online shopping has become our preferred method of buying the products we need, and that with good reason. It’s simply more convenient. After all, why bother going halfway across town do to your groceries when you can have them delivered right to your doorstep, without you ever leaving the comfort of your home?
With that being said, more and more companies are setting up shop on the online medium, with the pharmaceutical industry being no exception. Online pharmacies have been skyrocketing in popularity as of late, due to the fact that it’s a win-win situation, for both the consumer and for the businesses as well.
The consumer saves quite a bit of money since they can easily compare offers and find the best deals around. Whereas, from the business point of view a pharmacy has the opportunity to extend its client base. For example, an online pharmacy can sell to people based anywhere in the world. That being said, in today’s article, we are going to talk about how to find an online pharmacy you can trust.
Look For Red Flags
There are a few telltale signs that will help you determine if the pharmacy you are planning to buy from is actually legitimate or not. One of the first things you should do is contact your health insurer and ask for a list of approved online pharmacies. If the pharmacy you’re looking at doesn’t appear to be on the list, you should maybe give it a second thought.
Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that the business is not legitimate, you should still take this step into consideration. You also need to make sure that the pharmacy requires a doctor’s prescription. If not, or if it allows you to call in a prescription for yourself, you should leave the site right away, since this is a strong sign that indicates that the pharmacy is not legitimate.
And finally, watch out for unusually low prices. Shopping for medication online is a great way to save some money, sure. Most of the time you can actually do it safely. However, make sure to study the market first. If you find a site that has offers that almost seem too good to be true you should be cautious.
Verifying The Online Pharmacy
Besides looking for red flags, there are plenty of resources available that you can use in order to confirm the legitimacy of the online pharmacy you’re dealing with.
For example, in the United States, online pharmacies are licensed by state boards. So one way to verify if the pharmacy you’re looking at is licensed or not is by checking the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, or the NAPB for short. They offer an accreditation program for online pharmacies.
So, make sure that the site you’re on has the “VIPPS” seal on it. That basically means that the company has been through the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites and has been approved by the NAPB.
However, that’s not enough. Since the logo can be simply copied and still be used by illegitimate companies you also need to check if the site has the “.pharmacy” domain in its address. If it has, you’re safe to shop on it.
And finally, you can use PharmacyChecker as well. This is an organization that verifies US-based and foreign online pharmacies.