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How Do I Get Viagra Online?

Ordering prescription medications online is clearly convenient, but buyers must take care to avoid getting duped.

Ordering prescription medications online is clearly convenient, but buyers must take care to avoid getting duped.

It’s hard to beat the convenience of shopping online. Relaxing at home, dressed in nothing but your skivvies, you can order just about anything with only a few keystrokes on your computer keyboard. There’s virtually nothing that can’t be found online.

However, when it comes to prescription medicine, there are plenty of pitfalls that must be avoided to ensure that what you order online is what will actually be delivered to your door a few days later. This is especially true of popular impotence medications, such as Viagra, online offers for which abound. However, look closely and you will find that many of these offers are not to be believed.

Most Sites Can’t Be Trusted

In an eye-opening article posted at Forbes.com, contributing writer Melanie Haiken reported that investigations have shown that many websites selling Viagra online simply can’t be trusted. And spending good money for worthless medications is bad enough, but it’s not the worst that can happen to poorly informed consumers who get taken in by some of these tempting online offers.

Some of the so-called Viagra sold online and seized by customs officials in this and other countries has been found to contain toxic substances such as rat poison and drywall materials that are being used as fillers. In other cases, investigators have found that some of the Viagra sold online did indeed contain sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in the impotence drug. But it was either too little of the active ingredient to get the job done or more than actually needed, increasing the potential for adverse side effects.

Commonsense Guidelines

Despite these pitfalls, a savvy consumer can still order Viagra and other impotence drugs online if he follows a few commonsense guidelines to avoid wasting money and possibly endangering his health. You probably won’t go wrong if you follow these tips:

Avoid Sites Offering Viagra without a Prescription: Pfizer’s U.S. patent on Viagra doesn’t expire until April 2020. However, the giant pharmaceutical company reached an agreement in December 2013 that will allow Teva Pharmaceuticals USA to begin marketing a generic version of the drug in late 2017. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA is a subsidiary of Israeli-based Teva Industries Ltd. And at this point, there’s no reason to believe that Teva’s formulation of sildenafil citrate will be sold without a prescription.

The warning embodied in this poster from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is good advice for anyone planning to order prescription drugs online.

The warning embodied in this poster from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is good advice for anyone planning to order prescription drugs online.

That means that for the foreseeable future, it is illegal for U.S. consumers to purchase Viagra without a prescription. But above and beyond the legal issue, it can be foolhardy to go for these ¨no-prescription¨ offers online, because the chances are good that what you’re buying isn’t the real thing to begin with.

The system of requiring a prescription for a powerful drug, no matter what that drug may be, is intended to safeguard consumers and also keep certain medications out of the wrong hands. In a commentary on the dangers of online pharmacies, Bill Livingstone, a former director of studies and analysis at GlobalOptions, said, ¨The Internet makes it possible for anybody to get any drug at any time. That’s a scary thing.¨ GlobalOptions is an international risk management company.

If a website demands nothing more of you as a consumer than a credit card number, you should probably put your wallet away and keep looking until you find a reliable vendor that requires a prescription before it can sell you the drug.

Steer Clear of Rock-Bottom Prices: It is difficult to believe that otherwise sophisticated consumers get duped by websites selling Viagra and other prescription medicines for prices that are unbelievably low. It may be a hackneyed expression, but if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

In the United States, the only company that can manufacture Viagra is Pfizer, which as previously noted holds the U.S. patent until 2020. It strains credulity to believe that the company would supply the drug to a wholesaler or retailer to sell at a price so much below its normal cost.

Beware Offers for Generic Viagra: As previously noted, the earliest that Viagra will be available in generic form in the United States is the end of 2017. Nevertheless, hundreds of online offers of ¨generic Viagra” can be found. While Pfizer’s patent on the impotence drug has expired in certain other world markets, including most of the countries of the European Union, the sale of generic Viagra to Americans online is illegal. And in the vast majority of cases, the products delivered under the label of ¨generic Viagra¨ are worthless or, even worse, dangerous.

Buy Only from Vendors of FDA-Approved Medications: While there is little or no policing of the wild claims made by online vendors, all FDA-approved medications should come in bottles, blister packs, or other containers that are imprinted with a lot number. A consumer can check this lot number to ensure that the medication came from the manufacturer as advertised.

Some drug counterfeiters are extremely sophisticated, producing medications and packaging that is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

Some drug counterfeiters are extremely sophisticated, producing medications and packaging (on the right) that is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing (on the left).

Avoid Putting Your Personal Information at Risk: Dealing with a website that fails to provide adequate security and encryption puts your privacy and personal information at risk. Many of the online pharmacies based outside the United States have little or no security measures at all. The lack of encryption means that opportunistic criminals can easily hack into your personal and financial information, leading to the nightmarish specter of identity theft. Connecting to such sites may also increase the risk that your computer, tablet, or smartphone picks up malware or a devastating virus.

Most U.S.-based websites that offer a high level of security make no secret of this benefit, and happily provide details of the security services that can be browsed online before any personal information is ever entered.

Buy Only from Reliable Online Pharmacies: While the Internet has literally thousands of questionable online pharmacies, you can find reliable sources of supply if you do your homework. A little advance research can avoid disappointment.

One such dependable source of FDA-approved medications, including Viagra and other impotence medications, is eDrugstore.com, which is part of the Secure Medical family of online pharmacies. Based in Tempe, Arizona, eDrugstore.com only sells drugs that are sourced from licensed U.S. pharmacies.

If you already have a prescription for Viagra from your personal physician, you can fax it or scan and email it to eDrugstore along with your order. For those without a doctor’s prescription, eDrugstore can arrange an online consultation. To facilitate such a consultation, the customer must complete a comprehensive questionnaire that covers his medical history, current medications being taken, and symptoms that led to the decision to buy the drug.

Medical Information Reviewed

This information is then reviewed by one of eDrugstore’s team of U.S. licensed physicians who will authorize a prescription if he or she deems it appropriate.

As to security concerns, eDrugstore — and other online drugstores in the Secure Medical family — protect customer information and keep credit card data safe and secure by using the latest data encryption systems available. All data centers in the Secure Medical system have firewalls, intrusion-detection systems, 24-hour monitoring, and a dedicated team of IT engineers that is always on call.

If you should have a problem with an order from eDrugstore, you can contact a customer support representative at an 800 number that is displayed prominently on its website. Secure Medical, the parent company of eDrugstore, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

Photo credits: DES Daughter, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Don Amerman is a freelance author who writes extensively about a wide array of nutrition and health-related topics.

 

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+