Are you looking for ways to save money on your prescription medications? If so, you may be considering using a pharmacy online. With Americans spending over $300 billion annually on prescription drugs, it just makes sense that they would want to find a way to save money when possible. This may include navigating the various online vendors that make promises to provide great prices that beat what a prescription costs at the local pharmacy down the road.
However, with all the online options and media buzz regarding what a great option this is, you still need to use caution. After all, not all online pharmacies are created equal. Some tips to help you with this can be found here.
1. Understand What an Online Pharmacy is and How it Works
To put things simply, online pharmacies are internet-based vendors offering prescription drugs. This phrase is, unfortunately, used for both legitimate, as well as illegitimate businesses. An online pharmacy is able to sell drugs at a lower rate than a traditional drugstore because they serve a larger number of consumers from a single location. As a result, they are able to eliminate the cost of being in a network of local, hometown pharmacies.
When it comes to foreign online pharmacies, the cost of drugs in another country are much lower, which means the ability to save money is much higher. This is because the FDA is not in charge of regulating drug prices, but the majority of other countries do. As a result, the free-market price for a prescription drug in the United States is going to be higher than the price cap that is placed on the same drug in another country.
2. Not all Online Pharmacies are Created Equal
Since the costs for drugs is so high in the United States, there are many people who go online to save money. However, there are thousands of online pharmacies out there. Several of these are legitimate and legal businesses, but there are many (in fact most) that are not.
If an online pharmacy is illegitimate, it means that there is no one there keeping the pharmacy in “check” to make sure that it is complying with the regulations and laws, not to mention sending the proper products to consumers. These are considered to be fraudulent pharmacies and are usually based in another country.
3. Unfortunately, these fraudulent pharmacies are very well-known, in addition to the damages they have the potential to cause. While some may send you a version of your drug that is non-US, others may give you the wrong dose or provide you with a generic brand when your doctor prescribed you the name brand. In some cases, the labeling is missing or incomplete. This can all be dangerous, which is why it is so important to find a quality pharmacy.
3. Get to Know What’s Illegal
While you may already know that the FDA strongly discourages consumers to purchase drugs and prescription medications from other countries, the actual laws resulted to this can be a bit confusing. Some of the things that illegitimate pharmacies do that are considered illegal include:
- Buying a controlled substance with no prescription from a licensed doctor.
- Not asking for the prescribing doctor’s contact information prior to filling the prescription.
- Buying drugs in the U.S. that have not been approved by the FDA but that may be considered legal in other countries.
Buying prescription drugs online offers a number of benefits; however, if this is something you are considering doing, you should proceed with caution. Understanding whether or not you have found a legitimate pharmacy is important and something you can’t afford to ignore. Make sure to keep the information here in mind if you have plans to purchase prescriptions online. The information here will help you with the process and keep you safe.