The digital age has revolutionized the way people do business. Along with the modernization of most business establishments came the luxury of doing almost all transactions over the Internet. From shopping, booking reservations, finalizing bank transactions, to buying prescription medications, people no longer need to leave the house to do any of these. But considering the fact that prescription medications can affect a person’s health and well-being, is it really safe to buy prescription medications online?
Internet pharmacies have started to make their presence felt by barraging cyberspace with spam and pop-up advertisements. Now, web-based drugstores have made prescription drugs like muscle relaxants, antidepressants, birth control pills, diet pills, and pain medications available online. And to sweeten the deal, online pharmacies offer these medications at a discounted prices that are difficult to resist. To top the cake, these companies offer to deliver the medication straight to your doorstep for absolutely no additional charge. Sounds like a dream offer, right? Think again.
Prescription medications are controlled substances that need to be taken only upon a doctor’s recommendation. It is for this reason that a lot of medical professionals are doubting most Internet pharmacies that offer to sell prescription drugs without a valid prescription note. Here are some of the risks connected to buying different prescription medications online:
lDangerous drug interactions. Dealing with cheap medications exposes people to risks of getting fake medicine. What’s frightening about taking counterfeit drugs is that there may be hidden components or ingredients in them that may set off an undesirable drug interaction or trigger a distressing allergic reaction.
lIdentity theft. Once you register for membership in an Internet pharmacy, you will enter personal information when you fill out the website’s online medical questionnaire. There is a possibility that an anomalous individual may get a hold of your personal information and assume your identity to start making transactions on your behalf.
lCredit card fraud. You’ll be required to furnish financial information to finish your registration and to pay for your orders. There is a chance that suspicious characters may use your financial information to make purchases without your knowledge.
lIncorrect medication dose. As there is a possibility of getting counterfeit drugs, you may receive medicines that are of a higher or lower dose than what you ordered.
lNo product delivered. Buying from a fictitious Internet-based drugstore opens you to risks of not receiving any medication at all, even if you have paid for the product beforehand.
But it wouldn’t be fair to the Internet pharmacy industry if we start saying that all online drugstores are bogus. If you look hard enough, you’re sure to find a reputable online pharmacy that will cater to your prescription medication needs. Here are some tips that can help you on your search for a legal Internet pharmacy:
lCheck the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website for a list of certified Internet-based pharmacies that are considered Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS).
lCheck if the land-based company is based within the United States. It is dangerous to buy drugs from foreign countries as it is illegal to import medications from outside countries.
lNever give out any information to websites that you feel are suspicious. If your instincts tell you to check further on the company’s credibility, do so.