ONLINE PHARMACY CHECK

 

8 Reasons to Consider an Online Pharmacy

Many people are turning to online pharmacies to purchase their medications today, and with good reason. These virtual drugstores allow patients to research different conditions and medications, consult with a pharmacist and fill prescriptions all from the comfort and privacy of home. If you have been considering switching your prescriptions to an online pharmacy, we have eight compelling reasons to do so today. 

Better Prices

Online pharmacies are notorious for dispensing generic medications, which are the exact same formulation and brand-name drugs but with a much lower price tag. In addition, the lower overhead costs of running an online pharmacy allow these companies to offer medications at a lower price in many instances. If you are tired of paying top dollar for your maintenance medications, consider switching to an online pharmacy and see exactly how much you can save every month.

Convenience

The brick and mortar pharmacy requires you to drive to the store with your prescription, wait in line and make your purchase. You are subject to the hours the pharmacy is open, so you cannot fill prescriptions in the morning, evening or on the weekend in many cases. An online pharmacy does away with all of these boundaries, allowing you to shop for the medications you need any time of the day or night right from the comfort of home. Simply order your drugs on your computer and wait for them to be delivered right to your front door. There is simply no easier way to keep your prescriptions current today.

Good Quality

If you choose a reputable online pharmacy for your prescriptions, you can rest assured the medication you receive will be of the highest possible quality. Online pharmacies that work within the confines of the United States are typically FDA approved, which means they were manufactured and dispensed with the highest possible standards. Generic medications do not give up anything in terms of quality or effectiveness – they simply provide the same great results with a lower price tag attached.

Bulk Buying

Many brick and mortar pharmacies have limits on how much medication they will dispense at one time. This usually means patients have to drive to the pharmacy every single month to keep their prescriptions current. Reputable online pharmacies may be willing to fill prescriptions for up to 90 days at a time, ensuring you always have the medication you need on hand without worrying about getting prescriptions filled constantly.

Secure Payment

Because online shopping has become huge business today, companies have become quite adept at securing personal information that must be collected to complete transactions. This is a particular concern when shopping with an online pharmacy, since many shoppers are required to supply personal medical information in addition to their credit card number to make a purchase. Thanks to the many strides that have been made in encoding personal information today, you can share your medical and financial data without worry.

Discreet Shipping

Most legitimate online pharmacies know how important patient privacy is, and that is why they ship medications as discreetly as possible. This ensures that your mailman or neighbor won't see your anti-depressants or cholesterol medication that comes into your mailbox each month. Most online shoppers find they enjoy more privacy through online pharmacies than they do standing in line at their local drugstore.

Customer Support

Good online pharmacies offer customer support 24/7, to answer questions about medications or help track outstanding orders. If you shop with a pharmacy that has a physician or pharmacist on staff, you can rest assured your questions about drug interactions or dosing will be answered by a trained professional. This is much different from a brick and mortar pharmacy that only offers assistance during particular hours of the day.

Available Information

Online pharmacies often provide additional information on their websites about the most common illnesses and chronic conditions, as well as facts about the various medications they offer. When you go on their website to place your order, you can also educate yourself about your own condition so you can become more adept at managing it. You will not find that sort of information readily provided through most brick and mortar pharmacies; instead, you will have to ask the right questions of the pharmacist on duty to get the information you need.

There are many reasons why online pharmacies continue to gain popularity today. If you have been considering switching your prescriptions to an online pharmacy, check out the many benefits this move could provide. You may find that you gain time, money and peace of mind by getting medications delivered right to your own front door.

 

10 Tips for Choosing an Online Pharmacy

Online pharmacies have become a popular way to obtain prescription medications today, thanks to their low prices and ultimate convenience. The rise in popularity of these virtual drugstores has resulted in numerous online pharmacies cropping up all over the Internet. How do you know which one to choose? We have 10 criteria to help you find the best online pharmacy for your needs.

Physical Location

A legitimate online pharmacy will also have a physical location where medications are delivered and dispensed. The easiest way to verify a physical location is to click on the "contact us" page on the pharmacy's website. If an address is shown, this pharmacy probably operates out of an actual building. You may also find an address at the bottom of the company's "home page."

Pharmacist on Staff

When you find an online pharmacy you are interested in, call the location and ask to speak to a pharmacist on staff. Every legitimate pharmacy should have a licensed pharmacist or physician to dispense medications accurately and answer customer questions. If you cannot contact the pharmacy, or they do not allow you to speak with a physician or pharmacist, look for another company.

Licensing

Every legitimate online pharmacy will have a valid license from the state or province in which they operate. The license number is often displayed right on the company's website to alert customers of their legitimacy. Once you locate a license number, call the regulatory agency that issued the license to ensure the number is valid.

Membership Seal

Another indication that an online pharmacy is legitimate is a membership seal from an accreditation organization like CIPA, VIPPS, MIPA, IMPAC, NCPA or Pharmacy Checker. VIPPS was created by the National Association Boards of Pharmacy and is considered one of the best accreditation agencies in the country. Pharmacy Checker is also highly regarded as a non-profit watchdog for the pharmacy industry. CIPA is the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, which is helpful if you are ordering your prescriptions from a Canadian pharmacy.

Verification of Accreditation

Once you locate the seal, contact the accreditation agency to verify the seal is authentic. Some rogue pharmacies have used these seals fraudulently to inspire consumer confidence without upholding the regulations required for the seal. By contacting the appropriate agency, you can accurately verify whether the pharmacy you are considering has made that accreditation list.

Prescription Requirement

Most legitimate pharmacies will not fill prescriptions for longer than 90 days at a time. They will also require a written prescription from a doctor before dispensing the medication. In addition to the prescription, reputable online pharmacies will request your doctor's contact information to confirm your prescription. They may even require your medical history to ensure the drug they are sending is safe for you.

Information about Drugs

Look for an online pharmacy that posts ample information about the drugs they dispense, including potential side effects and drug interactions. The more information you receive about the medication you are taking, the more adept you become at handling your illness or chronic condition. This is particularly important with an online pharmacy, since you will not be having face-to-face meetings with a pharmacist who can answer your questions or offer advice.

Shipping Policies

Shipping policies vary among online pharmacies, so shop around for the best deal for your needs. You also want to find a pharmacy that ships prescriptions in a reasonable amount of time – usually within five to 10 days, depending on where the pharmacy is located.

Customer Service Contact Information

Reputable online pharmacies provide customer service contact information so you can call or email the pharmacy with questions about your medication or order. Most people prefer a phone number, or at least a live chat option, so that they can speak with a real person about their concerns, rather than waiting around for an email response. If the pharmacy you choose does not offer customer service contact information, you can assume the company is not interested in hearing from its customers – look for another company.

Secure Ordering

This may go without saying in today's age of Internet shopping, but secure ordering is a must if you will be sharing private information about your medical history as well as your credit card number. Most reputable online pharmacies will provide information about their secure ordering methods, so you can rest assured your sensitive information will remain confidential.

While online pharmacies are often the cheapest and most convenient way to get medications today, it is important to know how to pick the reputable companies from the fraudulent ones. By following these 10 easy tips, you can rest assured the online pharmacy you choose will be as safe as it is convenient.  

 

Are Online Pharmacies Safe?

There is no doubt that online pharmacies offer a convenience and money saving factor. But are they safe? Many worry that ordering medications from a company online results in lower quality and even some fraudulent prescription-filling. However, if you do your homework before ordering your medications from an online pharmacy, you can do plenty to lower your risk and ensure the medicine you receive is safe and effective. We have 10 features of rogue pharmacies to watch out for.

No Prescription Required

Online pharmacies that do not require a prescription are usually not legal pharmacies. These companies are not working with your best interests in mind, and may send you a medication that could be harmful to you. These companies may also offer to send unusually high quantities of pills, while reputable pharmacies usually limit their dosing amounts to between 30 and 90 days at a time.

Offer to Provide an Online Consultation

Some of the rogue pharmacies on the Internet will advertise that they provide online consultations with a physician. Based on the information that is exchanged online, the physician may recommend a particular medication. This is not an accurate way to diagnose and treat any type of disorder, and is usually just another way for the pharmacy to get around requiring a prescription to dispense medication. Only order medications that have been prescribed by your doctor to ensure they are safe and effective for you.

No Pharmacist on Staff

When you choose an online pharmacy, call the company and ask to speak to a physician or pharmacist on staff. Safe, reputable online pharmacies fill their prescriptions through licensed pharmacists, who are also available to answer patient questions accurately. This ensures that the medications and care a patient receives from the pharmacy is of the highest quality.

No Contact Information

Some online pharmacies do not provide any contact information for their company, leaving you to wonder exactly where prescriptions are filled and dispensed. They may not have any way to contact the company after you order from them, to ask questions about the medication or track your order. In many of these cases, the money is taken and the order never comes. Never order from an online pharmacy that does not provide an email address, physical address and telephone numbers.

No Licensing or Accreditation

A legitimate online pharmacy should prominently display their license number and accreditation seal. However, just because the company offers that information, do not take it at face value. Contact the issuing agency yourself to make sure the number or seal is authentic. This is relatively easy to confirm and makes a big difference in the legitimacy and safety of any online pharmacy.

No Security in Place

Reputable Internet companies display their security information to reassure shoppers that transactions with the company will be safe and confidential. While security is important with any Internet shopping site, it becomes even more critical with an online pharmacy that is collecting confidential medical information as well as financial data.

Offer Controlled Substances

Rogue pharmacies may offer potentially dangerous drugs to consumers. Controlled substances like hydrocodone and valium are some of the most popular in this category. Even if a drug is not classified as a controlled substance, it could harbor potentially serious side effects for some individuals, such as accutane and thalomidare.

Advertise Popular Drugs

Many rogue pharmacies prominently advertise popular medications like anti-depressants and impotence drugs to entice shoppers into their site. Other potential candidates include weight-loss pills, smoking cessation medication and painkillers. If you see more of these types of drugs than other common medications, proceed with caution.

Spam Potential Customers

Never buy online medications from a company that spasm your inbox. There are no legitimate online pharmacies that will do business in this manner, since it encourages individuals who do not necessarily need medications to shop for them. Authentic online pharmacies also will not sell your contact information to other companies – unless you specifically give them permission to do so.

Sneak in Hidden Fees

Some rogue pharmacies sneak in fees for membership or account set-up to beef up their income. This is not a typical practice with authentic online pharmacies with a primary goal of simply providing high quality medications at a good price. If you see additional fees getting tacked onto your order, leave that website and look for another pharmacy. 

Safety is a legitimate concern with online pharmacies, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to make sure your online drugstore is safe and reliable. With these red flags to watch out for, you will be much more likely to find a reputable online pharmacy for all of your prescription needs.


How to Buy from an Online Pharmacy

With convenience and savings to offer, many more online pharmacies are taking business away from the traditional brick and mortar drugstores. These virtual shopping networks allow patients to order their prescription medications from the comfort and privacy of home, with boxes delivered right to their front door. If you have been considering the switch to an online pharmacy, we'll give you the steps required to purchase your next round of medication from the virtual drugstore.

Who Should Use an Online Pharmacy?

The online pharmacy is most convenient for individuals who are taking a maintenance medication over the long term. In this situation, the online pharmacy keeps the prescription on file, and the patient enjoys convenience and money savings to keep their business with the online store. Those who need medication for a one-time treatment, or require their medication rather quickly, will be better off heading to the neighborhood drugstore down the street.

See Your Doctor

Before you begin shopping online pharmacies, make an appointment with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition and the best prescription medication for your needs. While some online pharmacies advertise online consultations with their doctors on staff, there is simply no substitute for a face-to-face meeting with a physician who is familiar with you and your history. Once you have a written prescription firmly in hand, you can begin making the rounds of the online pharmacies to find the best company for your needs.

Choose a Company

It is no small decision to choose the right online pharmacy, since for every legitimate company on the Internet; there are probably dozens of rogue companies offering their services as well. Research the online pharmacy carefully to find out if it is licensed and accredited. Ask if pharmacists are on staff and available to answer questions. Any legitimate online pharmacy will require at least a written prescription for your doctor, and some may want some of your medical history and other information about your condition as well.

Do Some Shopping

Once you have a handful of legitimate online pharmacies to choose from, shop their websites to find out which ones offer the medication you need at the best price. Keep in mind that many online pharmacies offer generic equivalents to brand-name medications, which offer similar quality and effectiveness for a lower price. Compare the cost of shipping as well as the price of the medication, since hefty shipping fees can offset any savings you might enjoy on the medication itself.

Set Up an Account

After you choose the best online pharmacy for your needs, you will probably be asked to set up an online account with the company. This process may involve providing personal information like your medical history and financial data. Be sure the website you choose is completely secure before offering this type of sensitive information. This information is very important to pharmacists filling your prescriptions, since it clues them into potential allergies, medical conditions, drug interactions and other potentially problematic factors that could affect your overall health.

Place Your Order

Once you find the medication you need at a price you can afford, you can place your order. When you enter in the information, make sure you confirm the name of the medication, as well as the dosing amount. While the online pharmacy should verify your order against your written prescription, it is best if you confirm the information as well to minimize the chance of error on your order. Most online pharmacies will require payment once the prescription is confirmed and you can usually choose to pay with a credit card or insurance card.

Send Your Prescription

All legitimate online pharmacies will require a copy of your written prescription before they fill your order. This can usually be accomplished in a variety of ways. First, you might simply send your written prescription via snail mail. Once the prescription is received, you medication will be filled and sent out. Some companies also take phone calls from physicians or call the doctors themselves to verify the prescription. If the prescription is being transferred from another company, the online pharmacy may also verify the information through the initial pharmacy.

Using an online pharmacy takes a bit of work at the beginning, since you will need to research companies to find one that is legitimate and able to meet your specific needs. However, once your account is set up with an online pharmacy, your subsequent prescription refills can be done from the comfort and privacy of home, with orders delivered right to your front door. The medications you need are just a click of the mouse away.

 

Online Pharmacies vs. The Neighborhood Drugstore

Until recently, people who needed a prescription filled would head to their neighborhood drugstore to purchase their medications. However, the advent of online pharmacies changed all that, offering a convenient, low-cost alternative to the standard brick and mortar store. Which pharmacy will meet your needs best? We will compare online pharmacies to the neighborhood drugstore to determine which type of pharmacy is the best choice for you.

Convenience

There is little doubt that the online pharmacy would win this category, hands down. The online option provides the opportunity to order medications from the comfort and privacy of home 24/7, and some even offer customer support around the clock as well. Brick and mortar pharmacies may refill prescriptions over the phone or Internet, but you still must drive to the location to actually pick up your medication. In addition, limited hours for many pharmacies make it difficult for some to get to the pharmacy around work and other obligations.

Price

Many online pharmacies primarily stock generic options over brand-name medications, which provide the same effective formulas and high quality with a much lower price tag. It is also much easier to shop around the Internet to find the best prices on medications, rather than driving to a number of different neighborhood drugstores to compare costs. However, the shipping fees involved with online pharmacies may cut into your savings significantly. If you decide to go the online route, shop around to find the pharmacy with the best shipping deals to ensure the most savings.

Information

Most neighborhood drugstores have pharmacists on staff to answer your questions and offer advice about important factors like dosing, side effects or drug interactions. Few of these pharmacies provide information about managing chronic illnesses, however, which leaves many regular pharmacy customers looking elsewhere for support on their disease. Online pharmacies may offer more information right at your fingertips, on everything from the best diet for diabetics to what medications alter the effectiveness of birth control pills. In addition, you can contact customer support with specific questions about your medication and some have hours any time of the day or night.

Time

There is a time factor involved with online pharmacies shipping medications to customers that hinders their ability to cater to certain types of customers. For example, if your doctor diagnoses you with a sinus infection and prescribes an antibiotic, you probably won't want to wait a number of days to begin your medication. This is definitely not the place to go if your child wakes up in the middle of the night with a fever and you need acetaminophen for him. For those who take a maintenance medication for a chronic condition, online pharmacies may be the best bet, due to convenience and savings. For those who need medication in a hurry, the neighborhood drugstore wins the prize for speed and accessibility.

Safety and Reliability

While you can usually rest assured your neighborhood pharmacy is dispensing FDA-approved medications in accordance with your doctor's instructions, you don't always know what you are going to get with an online pharmacy. If you decide to shop the Internet for medications, it becomes much more important to check the pharmacy out thoroughly before allowing it to dispense your prescription. Details like licensing, accreditation and FDA-approved products become essential to ensure the online pharmacy you choose is both safe and reliable. Avoid online pharmacies that promise to fill your request without a written prescription from your doctor or provide more than a 90-day dosing amount at one time.

Doctor and Insurance Cooperation

Because online pharmacies are a relatively new phenomenon in the medical industry, many doctors are still somewhat skeptical of their reliability and safety. In fact, you may find that your doctor is not willing to send your prescription to one of these operations, preferring instead to work with the neighborhood drugstore that he knows and trusts. In addition, some insurance companies will not cover medications from online pharmacies, because these stores compete directly with the mail-order options available on some health plans. Before you choose an online pharmacy for your medications, check with your doctor and insurance company to find out which companies they are willing to work with.

Online pharmacies and neighborhood drugstores both have a significant place in the medical community today. For those who need a quick prescription filled in a hurry, the neighborhood drugstore continues to be the venue of choice. However, if you are looking for a low-cost, convenient way to fill regular maintenance prescriptions, the online pharmacy might be the better option to consider.