Online Drugstores: Are They Secure?
If you’re feeling skeptical about buying prescription medications over the Internet, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. A lot of people have doubts in entrusting their information and their money to pharmacies on the web because of news of illegal online drugstores victimizing customers. But there are online drugstores in the US that are running a legal and honest operation and it would be unfair for them to be generalized just because of a few anomalous companies.
So how can consumers tell the difference between a good Internet drugstore from a bad one? Read on to learn some helpful tips on making sure your online transactions secure.
Look for an online drugstore website that shows complete and accurate contact information. Look for toll-free numbers you can use to contact them when you have any questions, or a complete physical address to ensure that the company has a head office where it reports to. Don’t settle for just an email address or a vague address.
Opt for Internet pharmacies that are located in the United States. At the moment, importing prescription drugs from online drugstore websites whose headquarters reside outside the county is illegal in most states.
Choose web-based pharmacies that are affiliated to or an Internet-based extension of a well-known pharmacy chain. Look for cheap online drugstores that are connected to a major pharmacy chain. Make sure that the go by the same procedures for processing, handling, and shipping of prescription drugs as the land-based pharmacies do.
Opt for a duly licensed and accredited web-based pharmacy. Visit the official website of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to find an updated list of accredited online drugstore companies that have passed the standards set by the NABP together with the local pharmacy boards of different states.
Go with an Internet-based drugstore that asks for a prescription before selling you medications. Online pharmacies theoretically work the same as land-based drugstores, a customer has to show his or her prescription note before the pharmacist fills out the order. And by law, it is illegal to dispense prescription drugs without a proper Rx note in the United States.
Look for online pharmacies that offer access to a licensed pharmacist. This is to ensure that the company understands the customer’s need to speak to someone with authority in case there are questions or concerns regarding the medications.
Read and understand the web-based pharmacy company’s policies regarding your privacy and security. This is an important concern to watch out for as most Internet drugstores require consumers to submit personal and financial information for medical history archiving and for payment. You should be able to see the company’s safeguarding measures for all the information you’ve entrusted to them.
Rely on your common sense. If you instincts tell you that an online drugstore website could be a hoax, check on the company’s reputation. If you cannot find anything about the company, report it to the local pharmacy board so that actions may be taken to rid the Internet of opportunistic companies like that.