Purchasing Medications Online: Tips to Find a Legitimate Site

The FDA says one in four Americans shop for prescriptions online, a number that is projected to increase over the next five years. Purchasing medications online is a convenient way for consumers to get the medications they need, but there are safety concerns every online shopper should be aware of.


Fraudulent Websites

Often lured in by cheap prices and sleek looking sites, consumers purchase medications from what appears to be safe, legitimate websites. However, the majority of the time consumers are sent counterfeit or expired medications with harmful ingredients added.

It’s estimated that 97 percent of online pharmacies aren’t following state and federal laws. In an effort to keep consumers safe, the FDA has launched BeSafeRx, a campaign that aims to teach people how to find a reputable online pharmacy.

While the FDA works to educate consumers, authorities are trying to crack down on these illegal sites, but it’s not an easy task. Many of the site operators are overseas. The sites pop up and shutdown frequently, just like the make-shift pill factories that produce the fake medications for the sites.

What to Look For

When looking for a trusted source to order medications through, be sure to look for the follow on the company website:

  • A street address in the U.S.

A P.O. box isn’t good enough; make sure the company has a valid street address.

  • Contact information

Make sure the site offers customer service. If you have questions, there should be a phone number you can call to talk to a real person about your concerns.

  • An About Us section

A legitimate company will tell you about its history and how it started.

  • Normal prices

If prices seem to good to be true, they probably are. Cheap medications are often counterfeit and should serve as a warning to stay away from the site.

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