9 Sep
Posted in: Miscellaneous
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Online Pharmacies – Are They Safe?

For many of us, the Internet has changed the way we live, work, and shop. It has made it possible for us to compare prices and buy medications without leaving our homes. According to estimates from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 400 U.S. and foreign companies sell prescription medications online. If you decide to buy medications online, be very careful! Some websites sell drugs that may not be safe. Some sites also do not follow legal procedures, and you could put your personal information at risk. Canadian pharmacy can provide you with an easy and private way to buy prescription and over-the-counter medications, often at a more affordable price. Online pharmacies are especially convenient if you live in a rural area, do not drive, or if you are disabled, frail, or homebound. Internet technology also enables you to compare drug prices and shop for bargains.

If you feel embarrassed ordering certain medications or healthcare products, online pharmacies allow you to remain anonymous. For example, one of the most frequently purchased online medications is Sildenafil, used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. If you have questions about your medications, many reliable Internet pharmacies allow you to consult with a licensed pharmacist from the privacy of your home. Internet pharmacies can also provide online product information that you can print, as well as links to other sources of information about your medications and health condition. Check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NAPB) to determine if the site you want to use is a licensed pharmacy in good standing. The NAPB has certified 15 online pharmacies as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS).

In general, online pharmacies work very well, but there are some that are unsafe, and some that are actually scams. If you are applying for treatment from a prescription or over-the-counter medication, especially over-the-counter medications, be cautious when ordering online. Many online pharmacies have no control over their products and may not stock your medication. Many doctors have published the same medication on multiple websites. Some sites and vendors have not been responsive to consumer complaints. And, many pharmacies are hesitant to state that their products are safe and effective. When you purchase a prescription medication, you should know what it does, its dosage, and how long it lasts for.

There are many drugs on the Internet that are potentially harmful. This is why it is important that you look for information before buying over-the-counter medications online. The site you are visiting may require you to complete an application before you can buy prescriptions and health-care products online. Although the site’s privacy policy will contain a clause regarding your personal information, it may be optional and will be up to you to read the fine print. Ask questions. Ask the site’s customer service representative and discuss any questions you may have.  A private-industry firm called PharmacyChecker.com has produced a list of questions that all online pharmacies should answer before you will buy from them. If the pharmacy does not address the questions in the application or on their privacy policy, do not buy any of their products. Check out the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s site on the Top 50 Online Pharmacies, to see whether your pharmacy is on their list. If you buy prescription medication over the Internet, you should make a small purchase of caution and follow these precautions: Never share your personal information with strangers. If you need any prescriptions filled by a pharmacy, follow the instructions the pharmacist gives you. Always call ahead to confirm that the pharmacy has what you need. Keep your prescription bottle and all the paperwork for your medications with you. Keep the name and the number of the pharmacy you are buying your medicine from written on the bottle, and the name of the pharmacist or doctor who wrote it on the prescription label.

If you are ordering a generic medication, make sure to get information about the manufacturer, the active ingredients, and the manufacturer’s packaging. Ask the pharmacy where you are ordering from, especially if they offer a free shipping option. Ask the pharmacy to state that their product is made under the strictest quality control practices. You can always check with your health care provider before taking medications on a trip abroad, or even from another country. Ask the pharmacy if they provide medical records. In some countries, you can also find out if the medications they sell contain stimulant ingredients. If you use a medication in a new country, consider learning about the dangers and side effects to ensure you are not hurting yourself or others. Make sure you know the drug’s brand name (the generic names) and dosage (how much) and how it compares to the medication you are already taking. Additionally, read up on your medication, safety, and side effects before use. You may not be told about any problems if you ask a knowledgeable person in the health care system.

So, what do you think?