How to Safely Buy Medicine From an Online Pharmacy

How to Safely Buy Medicine From an Online Pharmacy

More than 25% of Americans find it difficult to pay for their prescription drugs — even when they have good health insurance.

For this reason, more and more people are turning to online pharmacies. In some cases, you can buy medicine you need at a fraction of the cost of your local pharmacy.

However, just because it’s easy to purchase medication online doesn’t mean that every site is reputable. In fact, a 2017 study found that 95% of online pharmacies were out of compliance with state or federal laws.

The good news is that it is possible to safely buy medicine online. Keep reading and we’ll reveal what you need to know to safely buy medication from an online pharmacy.

Know the Red Flags

If you buy medication from an illegal pharmacy, you risk getting a product that has too much or too little of the active ingredient. Even worse, it could contain other harmful additives that are hazardous to your health.

Be on the lookout for red flags such as:

  • Extremely low prices that seem “too good to be true”
  • Allow you to buy medication without a prescription from your doctor
  • Do not have a licensed pharmacist available to speak with
  • Are located outside of the US or Canada (or offer to ship worldwide)

Another sure sign is an online pharmacy that sends out unsolicited, spammy emails. If such an offer lands in your inbox, delete it and focus your attention elsewhere.

Check the Pharmacy’s Credentials

If you buy from a US pharmacy, be sure there’s a seal that says “VIPPS.” This stands for “verified internet pharmacy practice site.” There should also be a street address and a US state-licensed pharmacist available to answer questions.

Hint: Look for a “.pharmacy” address, as only companies that are fully compliant are allowed to use that domain.

If you buy from a Canadian company like, it should also be easy to find the pharmacy’s street address and licensing information for its territory or province.

Never buy medicine from a pharmacy if you can’t verify its credentials, no matter how legitimate the website seems. Make sure you can verify it through an official third-party site before you proceed with your order.

Ensure There’s a Pharmacist Available

Even if your order seems straightforward, it’s always helpful to have a pharmacist available to answer any questions or concerns. Make sure the online pharmacy offers a phone number or live chat option with a licensed pharmacist.

It’s also a good idea to order all of your prescriptions from the same pharmacy. Not only will you have the chance to build a relationship with the pharmacist, but they’ll be able to spot any potential problems (such as two drugs you shouldn’t take together).

You Can Safely Buy Medicine Online

If you’re struggling with the high costs of your prescription, you’re not alone. You may be able to buy medicine online and save money, but it’s important to proceed with caution.

Use the tips listed above to ensure your online shopping experience is a safe one!

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