How to Know If an Online Pharmacy Is Legitimate
Many pharmacy websites are engaged in legal business, providing shoppers privacy, protection and overall convenience. However, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are lots of rogue ones as well, where unapproved or counterfeit medicines are being sold beyond the security of licensed drugstores.
These unlawful pharmacies typically display a Canadian flag despite operating from another side of the globe and having zero connection to Canada. Clearly, medicines purchased from these websites can pose real dangers to your health.
Indications of an Illegal Online Pharmacy
First off, be careful with online pharmacies that let you buy prescription medicine without a doctor’s prescription, or those that do not employ a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist to address customer queries. Shady online pharmacies offer medicines at incredibly low prices as well and are known to send spam or unsolicited emails for marketing. Furthermore, they are generally outside the U.S. and will ship overseas.
Indications of a Legit Online Pharmacy
On the other hand, you can tell whether or not an online pharmacy is licensed by considering a few things. For instance, if they look for a valid prescription from your doctor and have a license issued by your state board of pharmacy, they’re likely legal. You can check the licensing status of a pharmacy by checking your state board of pharmacy’s website. If there is a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist whom you can talk to, and it they have a verifiable U.S. street address, they you are likely safe with them.
On their website, you should also find the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesTM Seal, also referred to as the VIPPS? Seal. If this seal is present, that means they have satisfied all state licensure requirements s well as other NABP criteria, and are therefore legit.
Risks of Ordering from Illegal Online Pharmacies
Questionable pharmacies offer drugs that can be risky as they can have too much or too little of the active ingredient that is supposed to treat your disease or condition. Or they may not have any of that active ingredient at all, and they can be made of other unknown and possibly harmful ingredients. Of course, you want that active ingredient because it’s what makes the medicine work for whatever it is you’re taking it for.
If a drug is made with undisclosed active ingredients, it may not provide the sought effects and can even cause hazardous interactions with any other drugs that you might be taking simultaneously.
Finally, the drugs may not be stored under ideal conditions, such as at a warehouse where the stocks are not well-organized and exposed to unmanaged temperatures. This will not only make the medicines ineffective, but it can also cause chemical changes that can make them dangerous for human consumption.