The Benefits And Pitfalls of Online Pharmacies

Many people these days are finding that they have to look further afield in order to purchase prescription drugs due to the rapid escalation in their cost. This even extends to individuals who have insurance cover by means of increased premiums. A number of insurance providers have gone as far as to drop the cost of prescription medication altogether or they cover this cost by moving their clients to higher deductible plans with no cover for the medication. Therefore, people have no alternative but to shop around in order to source cheaper alternatives.

One of the options available to customers is to use an online pharmacy. Online pharmacies allow customers to compare prices and by doing so they are able to save themselves substantial amounts of money. These savings can amount to between 30% and 50% of the costs of the medication.

The sheer number of these pharmacies mean that the competition is fierce driving prices down. This, of course, translates into significant savings for customers. More competition means lower prices and greater discounting as these competing pharmacies go head to head for these customers’ business. Customers sourcing their medications from online pharmacies find that the purchase is both safe and secure. The benefits of online shopping are not confined to pricing. Customers living in remote areas also find that they have exactly the same pricing deals available to them just as if they were resident in an urban metropolis. As has been shown, the benefits of an online pharmacy are numerous, but one must always exercise caution and due diligence when choosing their online pharmacy just as they would do so for a local pharmacy.

When choosing an online pharmacy, it is wise to consider the following list – which is not exhaustive.

• Make sure that your provider is properly licensed in the U.S. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP) publishes a complete list of all licensed pharmacies and this list is available on the NAPB website. Every legitimate pharmacy will also include the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites™ seal (VIPPS® Seal).

• The website must also have verifiable contact information on the site. The contact information should also include phone number that you can call to discuss your requirements and make a more informed decision.

• All reputable pharmacies will have fully qualified pharmacists and physicians on hand to deal with customer concerns and queries. Again the practitioners should be qualified and possess a license to practice in the US.

• Make sure the pharmacy is located in the US. Remember that sourcing prescription drugs from outside the US is regarded as being illegal. Medicines that are sourced outside the US are almost certainly not FDA approved. This is because it is impossible to tell if these medicines have been manufactured to US standards.

One might ask why you should not source medicines from illegal pharmacies?

Of course its very tempting to buy your medicines from an online pharmacy based outside the US since the medicines are available at a fraction of the cost of US pharmacies. The low rates available from such pharmacies are almost unbelievable. They might also offer further discounts of one form or another. This is likely done to firstly lure the customer and then they are implicated in illegal activities. The reasons might be varied. They may have other ulterior motives or they may be masquerading as pharmacies in order to dupe unsuspecting customers.

The reasons NOT to use illegitimate sources are equally varied. The primary reason is the health of you the customer. The drugs might be out of date or expired. There’s no guarantee that the manufacturing was done in a facility that was up to standard. The ingredients may not have been properly stored. The ingredients might simply be dangerous. The bottom line is that buying prescription drugs from illegitimate sources can result in serious health risks. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that your personal and financial details will not be passed on to 3rd parties. Remember that while there are certainly benefits to buying your prescription medicines online, there are pitfalls too. Be careful.