According to studies, there are at least 30,000 to 35,000 online pharmacies operating at any given time. Unfortunately, though, only a few of these are legitimate and reliable.
For that reason, you should know how to spot a safe online pharmacy before you buy anything from them.
This guide will share some of the golden rules to help you find an online pharmacy you can trust, so be sure to read on.
Look for Licensure and Registration
The first thing to check before you buy medicine online is the pharmacy’s licensure. Regardless of where you live, your country likely has a pharmacy regulatory board.
Pharmacy regulatory authorities and boards regulate the activities of pharmacies and pharmacists. For example, they keep a registry of drug manufacturing, production, and distribution facilities. They also issue licenses to pharmacies and the pharmacists themselves.
In the US, the regulatory agency is the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP). In Canada, it’s the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). Whereas in England, Scotland, and Wales, they have the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC).
Thus, safe online pharmacies have licenses issued by agencies like the NABP, NAPRA, or GPC. They then make their license info easy to access by publishing it on their websites and web pages. So, be sure to look for these details and learn more about each pharmacy before clicking that “Pay Now” button.
Aside from licenses, safe online pharmacies also often have certifications for operating online. These certifications usually come from agencies that work with the Boards of Pharmacy.
One example is the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA). A CIPA-certified pharmacy would have the logo of CIPA on their site.
If you want to purchase medicine online from a US site, look for the VIPPS Seal from the NABP. VIPPS means Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. Online pharmacies with this seal have certification from the NABP itself.
In the UK, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the one supervising online pharmacies. Hence, a safe online pharmacy in the UK would have the big Q logo of the CQC.
Availability of a Registered Pharmacist (RPh)
All reputable online pharmacies employ registered pharmacists. After all, it’s the RPh who validates prescriptions before dispensing medications.
For that reason, you’d want to confirm that an online pharmacy has an RPh you can talk to before buying anything. Then, contact the pharmacy, talk to the RPh, and ask the RPh for their name and license details. You can then confirm the validity of the information by calling your country or state board.
For instance, let’s say you live in the US, home to more than 332,000 RPhs. The fastest way to validate the credentials of the pharmacist you spoke with is to get in touch with the NABP. The NABP can then confirm the details for you or help you confirm it through your state’s local board.
Always Buy Your Meds From a Safe Online Pharmacy
There you have it, the top ways to ensure you can find and transact with a safe online pharmacy. Keep these tips in mind, as the last thing you want is to buy adulterated drugs from a fake or rogue pharmacy. These drugs can put your health at risk, so it’s always best to do your due diligence to avoid such dangers.
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