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The Complete Guide to Choosing an Online Pharmacy: Everything to Know
There are 35,000 to 40,000 online pharmacies that operate worldwide, and 95 percent of these pharmacies operate illegally. Some Pharmacies sell counterfeit drugs, while others do not have the necessary licensing to operate. There is always a risk in buying items online, and when it comes to buying medicine, you need to be extra careful. Buying medicines from online pharmacies is advantageous because it gives you privacy. But how do you choose the right online pharmacy? This article offers you handy tips on choosing an online pharmacy you can trust. Continue reading to learn.
Check for Licensing
A legitimate pharmacy will likely provide its licensing information on its website. When you visit an online pharmacy website, go to their “About Us” page and check for licensing information.
Know the country the pharmacy you want to buy from is affiliated with, and research their legal requirements for pharmacies. You should also check their pharmacists’ and doctors’ licensing information.
If you can, call or email the pharmacy and ask any questions you have about their legitimacy. You may also check with the regulatory body to confirm the authenticity of a pharmacy’s licensing.
Ask About Prescription Requirements
The online pharmacy you buy from should be more concerned about your health than profiting off you. Thus, a legitimate pharmacy should ask you for a prescription and verify it before selling you medication.
If a site does not ask for a prescription, they may sell you the wrong medicine. There is also a chance that a pharmacy sells uncontrolled substances if no one asks to see a prescription. You do not want to trust such a facility with your health.
Pharmacy prescription requirements require pharmacists to get a patient’s personal information to verify their prescription. So, the pharmacist should ask about your health history and previous prescriptions.
Answering these questions helps a pharmacist decide whether or not your prescription is suitable.
Check Their Prices
Comparing medicine prices helps you determine whether the drugs sold in a pharmacy are genuine. Pharmacies that sell drugs at very low prices may be selling counterfeit products.
Taking false or substandard medicine may have fatal effects as some have highly toxic substances. Poor-quality drugs do not do much to treat illnesses. Thus, you may worsen your health condition when you take such medication.
Consult Your Health Insurance Provider
Some health insurance companies cover prescriptions from listed pharmacies. When choosing online pharmacies, it is best to start with those provided by your health insurance company.
Insurance companies vet pharmacies before listing them as suppliers. Thus, you can trust an online pharmacy listed by your insurer.
Listed pharmacies have a business agreement with your insurance provider. Therefore, just because your insurance company does not list an online pharmacy does not mean it is illegitimate.
Consider How a Facility Communicates
Sometimes you need medication urgently. Thus, a pharmacy should be easily accessible. A trustworthy online pharmacy should have multiple means of communicating with customers.
When you look through a pharmacy’s website, check if it includes its email, phone number, and address. Be wary of a pharmacy that does not publish its contact information.
Too much communication is also not a good thing. If a pharmacy keeps spamming your mail with unsolicited offers, walk away.
Avoid Experimental Medicine
Some people may try to take advantage of you when you have a terminal illness. Unscrupulous individuals sell counterfeit drugs disguised as new treatments. They promise fast results and may provide false statistics on people the treatment has cured.
Illegitimate pharmacies respond with conspiracy theories when you about their treatments’ limited availability. They may say that the government or big pharma has restricted their operations.
Foreign pharmacies that are trying to scam you may say the medicine in their country is more advanced.
All these responses are false stories from people who want to defraud you. Give any pharmacy that sells miracle cures that are not available in brick and mortar facilities a wide berth.
Check a Pharmacy’s Privacy Policies
When buying medicine online, you share a lot of personal information. The pharmacy may require your identification details, address, and banking information. If this information falls into the wrong hands, you could be a victim of identity theft.
A trustworthy online pharmacy only uses buyers’ information to sell medication. Be wary of pharmacies that say they may use your data for marketing.
Choose a Pharmacy With Registered Pharmacists
Registered pharmacists have the training required to oversee the administration of medication. Thus, they know the right questions to ask before filling in your prescription.
A registered pharmacist talks to you about your health. They also advise you on the best way to take your medication and answer questions you have about your prescription. Do not entrust your health to an untrained person.
Ask for a Physical Address
When evaluating your options for pharmacies, consider those affiliated with a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. Check whether a pharmacy has indicated a physical street address on its website.
It is easy to track down a pharmacy with a physical address if anything goes wrong. Law enforcement officers can also walk in and inspect a physical store if you report something untoward.
Thus, you can trust such a pharmacy to comply with legal requirements.
Check a Pharmacy’s Terms of Sale
Terms of sale are the conditions that a seller sets for transactions with buyers. For an online pharmacy, consider the terms on product deliveries.
How does the company handle customer complaints? What do the terms say about prescription requirements? What do the terms say about order processing and the terms of payment? This information helps you decide whether a pharmacy is a good fit.
Check Online Reviews
Online customer reviews tell you a lot about how a pharmacy handles its customers. You can trust reviews because people who review pharmacies do not do it to promote their business.
Search online pharmacies on sites like Yelp and Google My Business to see what customers have to say about them.
When browsing reviews, check comments about a pharmacy’s credentials and customer service. If a pharmacy has a social media page, check it to see customers’ comments on their products and services. Look out for complaints, and note how the pharmacy responds to them.
It is not worth transacting with a pharmacy with a bad online reputation. So, avoid any pharmacy with low ratings on Yelp or Google my Business, no matter how attractive their offers are.
Also, be wary of online pharmacies that hide customer reviews and are not rated on any sites.
Get References From Family and Friends
Inquire from your family and friends about good online pharmacies they have transacted with. Ask them to provide you with the pharmacies’ contact information and links to their websites. You can trust your friends and families to give good recommendations because they care about your health.
However, note that your and your loved ones’ priorities are different. For instance, someone may favor a pharmacy because the pharmacist did not ask many questions.
Therefore, it is good to know what a person likes about a pharmacy to make an informed choice when getting recommendations.
Use the Verification Sources At Your Disposal
There are multiple regulatory bodies for pharmacies that you can check to verify the legitimacy of an online pharmacy. Below are some verification sources where you can search for approved online pharmacies:
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)
The NABP is a great source of information for verified online pharmacies in the US. The NABP provides licensing for pharmacies in all 50 US states, US territories like the Bahamas, and the Canadian Provinces.
It offers a verification program for online pharmacies that assesses the quality of their services. The NABP also provides a list of verified online pharmacies from its program.
Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA)
Research Canadian pharmacies at the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) website. Visit the CIPA website to check its list of verified online pharmacies.
Do not assume a pharmacy is in Canada because it has Canada in its name. Do your searches based on the location on a company’s website.
PharmacyChecker verifies online pharmacies within and outside the US. Companies in PharmayChecker’s list of verified online pharmacies undergo rigorous compliance checks. You may also check pharmacies’ ratings on the site.
Use the Above Tips When Choosing an Online Pharmacy
Canadian Pharmacy Online is one of the best online pharmacies you will find. We serve customers in the US, Canada, Australia, India, Turkey, New Zealand, the UK, and several members of the European Union.
If you have been having difficulty choosing an online pharmacy in any of these locations, search no further. Contact us today for more information on how we can serve you.