In the past, going outdoors to shop for your needs was the only option. But with advancements in technology, you can purchase most of your essentials through your phone or laptop, including medication. This makes it much easier to buy medicines when you need to stay at home because you’re not feeling well.
However, the Internet can be a shady place. You can encounter many sketchy websites that do more harm than good. Thus, taking extra precautions when buying anything online, especially prescription medicine, is crucial. Keep reading if it’s your first time purchasing medication through an online pharmacy. These tips can help you secure your orders safely.
- Search For Credible Pharmacies
With nearly two billion websites on the Internet, it can be overwhelming to determine which online pharmacies are credible. Some may look legitimate but are managed by scammers looking for a quick buck from a poor soul.
Despite that, you’ll find many reputable sites by typing ‘online pharmacy’ on your preferred search engine. The ones listed on top often have a solid reputation and many visits from new and returning customers. So, when browsing for online pharmacies, consider the ones with the following qualities:
- Simple website search and navigation
- Product and service reviews
- 24/7 live chat
- Multiple payment methods
- Website loading speed
- Detailed product descriptions
An example of a credible site for buying medicine is Wizard Pharmacy. It provides a streamlined user experience and is loaded with helpful information. It’s possible that there’s a legitimate online version of your local pharmacy. If it does, you have a better chance of receiving high-quality medication from this site than if you’ve stepped outside and bought it in person.
- Buy Your Medication Locally
When searching for pharmacies online, you may receive some results outside your city or country. It’s nice to have many options, but you’re better off buying from sites near you.
Online pharmacies, especially in the US, are often approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP) before selling prescription drugs. With that approval, you’re ensured you’re getting legitimate medication. Therefore, buying medicine from websites in your home country is generally safer.
In addition to higher fees and long delivery periods, medicines bought abroad may incur issues. Your local government might be unable to help you if you get a bad reaction from the drug or get scammed.
- Canvas Prices As Much As Possible
Sometimes, products sold online may be cheaper than their mall equivalents due to the lack of overhead costs. While this is good for most people, you shouldn’t settle for medication sold way below the suggested retail price. These medicines are often either close to their expiration date or counterfeit.
To be sure, search for your needed medications in other online pharmacies. They should be equal or around the same price range wherever you look. Contact your local pharmacy to ask the in-store price of your medicine if you’ve forgotten, then compare that to the same ones sold online. If it’s cheaper than usual and too good to be true, it’s best to skip it for your safety.
When you find a trustworthy online pharmacy, check if your health insurance plan covers it. You could purchase your medication at a discount or receive generic equivalents if it does. In doing so, you can save money on prescription medicines.
- Ensure A Licensed Pharmacist Is Answering Your Questions
Most retail websites should have a messaging feature that allows visitors to contact customer service. These sites usually have chatbots that answer frequently asked questions and only switch to a real person when a customer requests it. An online pharmacy may have chatbots, too, but it should also have a licensed pharmacist answering your questions instead of a regular customer support representative.
Remember that a licensed pharmacist on the other end of the line ensures you get expert advice and assistance when purchasing your medication online. Additionally, reputable online pharmacies often only dispense medication if you supply a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Thus, the site should have a pharmacist who will verify your prescription and give you the necessary medicine.
Furthermore, it’s always better to speak to a real person than a bot, especially about your health. When in doubt, ask your doctor or local pharmacist what your prescription medicine looks like. If the pharmacist online gives you the same thing, chances are that the site is credible and safe.
- Be Careful When Providing Sensitive Info
One of the dangers of buying things online is providing your personal information. These details include your full name, address, and credit card number. You often need them to proceed with your order. Without them, online medication delivery becomes challenging.
If the website is fraudulent, you can become a victim of a phishing scam where hackers retrieve sensitive details and use them to their advantage. Only provide your information if the website is safe. One way to confirm is to check if the URL starts with ‘https’ instead of ‘http.’ The former has a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate, which ensures that the info you input on the site is encrypted and secured.
There are other ways to see if an online pharmacy is legal, like checking if the domain name is spelled correctly or if the search engine marks it as unsafe. So, whether buying medical supplies or restocking your vitamins online, you must order these products on a secure and verified website.
It’s perfectly okay to purchase medication online as long as you know how to look for it. There are circumstances when staying at home is inevitable, and medication delivery is the only option. However, online buyers should be aware that the internet is not always a secure place to make purchases. So, to protect yourself, keep these tips in mind when you start browsing for online pharmacies.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.