3 MIN READ | General

James Wallace

6 Tips To Protect Yourself from Online Pharmacy Scams

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James Wallace, (2020, August 25). 6 Tips To Protect Yourself from Online Pharmacy Scams. Psychreg on General. https://www.psychreg.org/online-pharmacy-scams/
Reading Time: 3 minutes

People purchase medications from online pharmacies for various reasons. About a quarter of Americans who use the internet have bought medicines from online pharmacies. Convenience makes online pharmacies luring, especially among older people, who make up 71% of outpatient prescriptions. Ordering prescription medicines online could not be easier. Hundreds of websites provide prescription drugs for sale, and the number is growing exponentially. 

However, criminal rings have turned to counterfeit medicine into a lucrative global business. Counterfeiters use fake online pharmacies to peddle their software to unsuspecting internet users. Ordering prescription drugs come with serious risks that could result in taking a below standard drug. Medicine from illegal online pharmacies can put your health at risk. It would help if you made extra precautions to ensure you receive safe medications from a reputable provider. Here are six tips on how to protect yourself from online pharmacy scams

Valid prescription 

A legitimate pharmacy will require you to provide a prescription. Most credible online pharmacies refuse to provide medication if you are unable to produce a prescription. Having a prescription for the medicine you need is about your safety. It is essential to get a prescription from the doctor who has diagnosed your condition if you are purchasing medications online. If you receive medicines without a proper prescription, there is no guarantee of safety to consume. Improper treatment, risky interactions with other drugs, and adverse reactions can have life-threatening effects. 

Valid licence

It is crucial to find out if the pharmacy is reliable by checking if they are licensed. The legitimate online pharmacies will have a licence from the state regulatory authority. If you choose to shop for medication, there are laws and professional guidelines for buying medicine online in your state. Professionals from eDrugSearch.com often insist that you first confirm whether the online pharmacy you choose to work with is licensed or not. It is essential to note you can only purchase medicine from online licensed pharmacies. It would be best to do a quick background survey to ensure the site you are using is legitimate

Credible sources

It is crucial you only purchase medicines from reliable sources. The VIPPS accreditation programme may help you to navigate the online marketplace. The VIIPS inspects online pharmacies on the grounds of stringent criteria meaning the online pharmacy is safe and approved. 

If the website displays the VIPPS logo means the board has approved it for online pharmacy retailing. The program ensures patient confidentiality, integrity, and appropriate handling of prescription medicines. Rogue pharmacies can fit the VIPPS logo and feature it on their website to trick consumers. It is vital to go through the VIPPS website to verify your source

Protect your privacy

It is recommended that you ensure you have access to privacy and security settings when buying your medication online. The privacy and security settings should be easy to locate and understand on the website. You should have a statement about your personal information as part of the privacy agreement. Do not give your credit card or other payment information unless the pharmacy site is secure. Legitimate online pharmacies should not disclose your personal information to third parties. Without the necessary security to protect the private financial information of buyers, these sites risk identity theft.

Verify the website

It would be best to look for sites with the right domain to determine whether a website is safe. Websites with a VIPPS logo reflect review and accreditation by the NABP. Legitimate online pharmacies have websites that indicate a physical business address, contact information, and state licence information. Verify the details by doing an additional web search and save a great deal when buying medication online. Besides, secure websites use special tools to encrypt your private information. 

Bargain cost

The cost of buying medicine online is not usually far from what you pay for in a conventional drug store. Although there are means to save money buying medicine online, if the pharmacy provides bargains beyond relief, ignore them. It would help if you were wary of online pharmacies that display extremely unusual low prices. If you doubt the cost medication, you need to do some research to check the cost in a regular pharmacy. It would be best to avoid a particular online pharmacy if the comparison in price seems unusual.

Takeaway

It is essential only to use legitimate websites when purchasing your medicine online. It would be best if you took precautions to distinguish legit online pharmacies from the fraudsters. If you notice anything unusual in the drugs you bought online, consult your pharmacist.

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Image credit: Freepik


James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.


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