Safety concerns regarding buying prescription medications online pharmacy revolve around issues pertaining to your personal health, the legality of transactions, and protection of your personal information. Online pharmacies provide convenience and other advantages such as privacy and in some cases cheaper prices compared to the traditional brick and mortar pharmacy, but without due diligence the buying of prescription medication online can be fraught with a number of deleterious pitfalls.
To ensure the safety of prescription medications the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that medications go through safety clinical trials, and that the benefits outweigh the risks associated with a drug before it is approved for marketing and sale in the United States. Unfortunately pharmacists outside the United States that dispense drugs manufactured outside of the United States are not bound by federal regulations, posing a health hazard for those who choose to purchase from them. Because some pharmacies, even within the United States, import and distribute non-FDA approved drugs manufactured outside of the country, it is important to make sure that the online pharmacy you choose only dispenses FDA approved prescription medications.
The main concerns about purchasing prescription medication from rogue online pharmacies that dispense drugs not approved by the FDA approved are, the drugs you receive might be counterfeit, contaminated, sub-potent, super potent or the wrong drug, all of which could jeopardize your health. In the worst-case scenario, you may not receive any medication at all despite paying for it. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the Online Pharmacy is licensed and based in the United States and if not that it is accredited and dispenses drugs approved by its government.
Since rogue pharmacies tend to want to be invisible and unreachable except in cyberspace, it is important to obtain up-to-date contact information in the form of a physical address and telephone number. With that information you can attempt to obtain a Better Business Bureau report. If a Better Business Bureau report is not available you can then do an advanced Dun & Bradstreet search to make sure that the business does in fact exist. Avoid doing business with operations that only provide you with an e-mail address as a form of contact. In addition to possibly precluding you from obtaining credentials and information about business practices, the provision of just an e-mail address might be an indicator of the quality of customer service you can expect or not expect.
Also obtain the license number and any accreditation credentials from the pharmacy then verify the information through the state pharmacy board of the state in which the pharmacy is based, an all important step because some of the alleged Internet pharmacies are not really legitimate licensed operations. In addition to verifying license status and the fact that the pharmacy is located in the United States and meets quality standards, state boards of pharmacy or the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) can also let you know if an online pharmacy is accredited by Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) or other recognized accreditation programs. VIPPS pharmacy sites can also be identified by the VIPPS hyperlink seal displayed on their Web sites.