Online pharmacies have emerged as a formidable force in the pharmaceutical industry. They offer convenience, privacy, and lower prices on many of the most commonly used prescription medications. But like any business, an online pharmacy might not be the best option for consumers. It really boils down to how the pharmacy does business.
Canada Drugs Direct, a licensed online Canadian pharmacy that provides prescription medications to American consumers, says patients should shop for online pharmacies the way they do any other type of business. Shopping around is the only way to fully understand all of the options.
In light of that, here are seven tips for choosing an online pharmacy:
1. Check with Accrediting Organizations
A quality online pharmacy will not only be licensed, but it will also be accredited as well. Consumers should always check with accrediting organizations to verify the membership of an online pharmacy. In the U.S., consumers can check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Canadian enterprises can be verified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association.
2. Choose a Site That Requires a Prescription
Any online pharmacy that does not require a legitimate prescription should be avoided. Remember that prescription medications are available only through physician prescription because they are controlled substances. Buying without a prescription is not only illegal, but also unsafe. Online pharmacies that do not require prescriptions are breaking the law and jeopardizing consumer safety.
3. Look for Access to a Registered Pharmacist
It is a wise idea to choose an online pharmacy that gives patients access to a registered pharmacist. Why? Because pharmacists are fully trained and licensed professionals whose expertise is medications. If you ever have questions, the pharmacist is the one to ask.
4. Avoid Organizations That Limit Contact
The nature of pharmaceuticals demands that online pharmacies make themselves easily accessible. That includes providing multiple means of contacting them and listing those means on their websites. When searching for an online pharmacy, avoid those that limit contact. If a pharmacy does not publish its address, phone number, and an email address or online contact form, walk away.
5. Avoid Promises of Miracle Cures
There are unscrupulous online pharmacies that promise miracle cures for all sorts of illnesses. Some of them disguise themselves as international pharmacies for the sole purpose of saying that medicine is more advanced in their country. Claims of miracle cures are always scams. It doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with an American, Mexican, or Canadian pharmacy.
6. Avoid Conspiracy Theories
Hand-in-hand with miracle cures is the practice of marking certain products under the guise of government or Big Pharma trying to suppress them. Any claims to that effect are little more than marketing hype designed to convince you to buy something you would otherwise not be able to find at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. Online pharmacies that would use such tactics are not the most trustworthy organizations.
7. Be Wary of Case Studies
Finally, legitimate online pharmacies do not need to site case studies to support a medication they sell. They only sell approved medications anyway. Having to market with case studies suggests that an online enterprise is selling something that is either not approved or has no medical value. Needless to say, such pharmacies should be avoided.
The fact that Canadian drugs are so easily accessible to U.S. customers is demonstration that the online pharmacy model works. Just be cautious when dealing with an online pharmacy for the first time. You can never be too careful about making sure you are getting the right prescription medicine from a licensed company with a proven track record.