Online pharmacies have not been always popular. Believe it or not, some online drugstores have been around since the 90s—a time when the internet is just an obscure topic. Nowadays, however, the tides have turned—customers are learning that online pharmacies are quite helpful and in fact, more economical than the local drugstore prices for the same medications.
Indeed, online pharmacies have proven to be sources of utterly low priced medicines, but not every online pharmacy is legal. Some online drugstores are deliberately illegal and may be threats to the patients’ health and safety. Because of this, consumers should be heedful of where they shop their meds and be educated on the signs that differentiate a legal online pharmacy from a fraudulent one.
How Do you find a Legal Online Pharmacy?
Customers should actively be on a quest in finding a legal online pharmacy to patronize for their medicines, especially if they haven’t tried ordering their medicines online yet. Since online purchases for medicines is unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and similar agencies all over the world), these authorities can only stand by and watch buyers purchasing their medicines online.
The best they can do is issue warnings and memos on how to identify a legal online pharmacy from a scam site and manually weed out the overtly fraudulent sites. They, however, can’t forbid a person from ordering his medicines online—there is no law for this yet.
To help out customers in finding their legal online pharmacy, here are some of the tips the US Food and Drug Administration has published with regards to online pharmacy searches:
- According to the FDA, customers should be aware of the scam site red flags.
The FDA reminds the customers to refrain from transacting with websites that do not ask for prescriptions and do not have a licensed pharmacist to assist with the order process. These are usually red flags to watch out for when purchasing medicines from online drugstores.
- Consumers are encouraged to check the licenses acquired by the online pharmacies in question.
The FDA is encouraging the buyers to verify if the store claims regarding their licenses are correct. If a shop features seals of approval from organizations like for instance, CIPA, MIPA, CPA, or the NABP, customers should have the right sense of checking these for authenticity.
NABP List of Not Recommended Websites
- Buyers should read reviews first.
Customers should read buyer testimonials available for the website in question in order to determine the buyer opinions available for the website. Reviews are great in order to identify if a shop is reliable or not.
- Consumers can also use third-party websites like Scam Adviser or Legit Script to evaluate a website’s unseen details.
Some domain-evaluating platforms like Scam Adviser or Scamner are able to identify otherwise unseen details of a specific online pharmacy, like its real domain age, location, popularity, or the presence of its SSL certificate.
These platforms are free to use online and are easily accessible to every client. The results are posted within seconds so using these stores is a breeze.
Although you still need to have a margin of error ready for these websites, these platforms are quite reliable when it comes to evaluating online drugstores for their integrity. It is advisable, however, to use multiple domain analysis sites rather than one so customers can cross-check the results.
Legal Online Pharmacy Reviews
In order to make sure that an online drugstore is legitimate, customers should seek reviews first for the store in question before resolving that an online pharmacy is indeed safe to use.
Google Search Engine
Although buyers can easily use search engines like Google to find significant reviews for the shops they are planning to use for their medicines, customers should know which search results for reviews to trust. Not all search engine results are significant, so beware of possibly misleading review results for online pharmacies.
A Forum Site
Some of the most genuine sources of customer comments or reviews are forum discussions. Forum website discussions are as authentic as they can get—buyers are at liberty to discuss their opinions on web drugstores, their products, and other aspects. Form sites are also perfect for getting insider advice on the best web pharmacies to use for cheap but high-quality medications.
A Review Platform
Besides using forum platforms, users would also benefit from using dedicated online review platforms. However, customers should be able to select the ones that are truly legitimate and are posting actual customer comments.
Review Sites – Blog
In other cases, customers can also use blog-type review platforms featuring personal perspectives of seasoned authors. They can be helpful if consumers want to dissect a website to the smallest detail since these types of reviews are thorough.
How Do I Shop Safely at Legal Online Pharmacy Stores on the Web?
Now that you’ve learned some of the guidelines for identifying legal online pharmacies to use for your drug purchases, you must also learn how to hack-proof your shopping experience. Here are some things you may think of doing whenever shopping for your meds online:
- If possible, shop at home and refrain from using public connections. If you must shop in public places, use your mobile data.
- Make sure you’re using protective software (antivirus, anti-malware, and similar programs) to protect you from web threats.
- Use an online credit card with a separate limit. Refrain from using your main accounts while shopping online. Also, if possible, don’t use debit cards since charges to debit cards are harder to contest in case of errors.
- Think before you click—examine emails, pop-ups, and links before you click so you’ll keep away from scam sites.
Legal online pharmacy stores are available online, but you need to look for them hard since not all web drugstores are legitimate. You can manually search for legitimate web drugstores to use, but you can also use our list of TOP Online Vendors so you can search for legit stores using less effort.