Are the Prescription Drugs You Can Buy Online Safe?

The United States is a world leader when it comes to developing new medicines to treat illness and disease. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars each year in order to pay doctors, scientists, researchers, and maintain expensive equipment required for their trade. It is no wonder then, with all of the extraordinary investment that is required to develop new drugs, that they can be extremely expensive to buy once they have been approved by the FDA (another expensive process).

It used to be that U.S. consumers had little choice but to pay the high prices for these medications if they needed them unless they happened to live on the border of Canada or Mexico, where a quick drive could deliver the generic version of the drugs at significantly less than they cost in the U.S. Insurance may sometimes help to mitigate the cost of these drugs but it is not always available or may not cover the newer prescriptions.
With the advent of the Internet, however, the ability to purchase prescription drugs online has boomed and with it the sale of drugs online both from legitimate pharmacies and illegitimate ones as well.

Legitimate Drugs are Available Online

It is difficult to tell at a glance which online pharmacies (those that offer drugs only with a prescription faxed over by your doctor) are legitimate and which aren’t. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy regulates the industry and has found just over 200 domestic websites that are legitimate, but there are estimated to be more than a thousand others that are not. Those websites that are legitimate are considered safe to buy your drugs from. With other sites, you may be taking significant risk with your health if you purchase medicines from them.

Telling the Pharmacies Apart

There are a few ways you can use to determine whether an online pharmacy is legitimate or not.

  • No prescription needed - It is illegal to prescribe medications to a person unless that person has been physically examined by a doctor. Online pharmacies that claim “No prescription required” in order to sell prescription drugs are in violation of the law and you should think twice before buying there.
  • Trusted Name Pharmacies - If you need to purchase your prescriptions online, the safest bet would be to visit the website for your local brick and mortar pharmacy to make the purchase
  • Foreign Pharmacies - It is illegal to ship medications not approved by the FDA into the United States and is often illegal to ship even approved ones as well. If a only pharmacy makes a point of being outside the U.S., it is one you’re probably better off avoiding.

Above all you should definitely avoid “new” medications that will be billed perhaps as having been in use in some foreign country for many years, but is not widely known of or approved by the FDA for use in the United States. There is absolutely no guarantee that these medicines will not interfere with anything else you may be currently taking, or cause you outright physical harm. When in doubt, call the number listed on the website and ask detailed questions about the drugs they sell, where they come from and whether they are FDA approved before making your purchase.

About UsContact Us
Most Recent

Will You Get the Swine Flu Vaccine?

The swine flu vaccination is making its way to the general public. Although there are many concerns about getting the vaccine, there are a lot of benefits you can get from it as well.

Continue Reading »