Nowadays, people’s buying habits are continuously changing thanks to the never-ending innovation of technology that is making the buying experience seamless and effortless almost to a fault. With the internet and online marketplace, anybody can virtually buy anything they want in the comforts of their abode. Like any option and decisions we make, it has its pros and cons.  Buying online might be a breeze in relation to physically going to the store, finding through tons of shelves, falling in line at the counters, driving back home, etc., but purchasing from a online store can be a venue of illegal and deceitful selling practices.

Source: cnet.com

The same goes for online pharmacies. It undeniable how convenient, it is to get over the counter and maintenance medicines and have it delivered to your door especially for the elderly and individuals who have disabilities or mobility issues. Moreover, health insurance plans are heavily promoting home delivery of maintenance medications and usage of online pharmacy services.  Since the cost of the prescription is steadily rising, consumers are also looking for cheaper alternatives in online pharmacies.

Dangers of purchasing from a fake online pharmacy

Purchasing a prescription medicine from bogus online pharmacies is extremely dangerous or worst even fatal. Counterfeit medications are a fake rip off from the approved drugs and are considered ineffective and unsafe. They may be less effective or may have unusual adverse effects.  Aside from the health dangers, buying from fraudulent online pharmacies puts your personal and financial information at risk. These sham companies may intentionally misuse your information through selling your details to other internet scams and illegal sites.

Source: safemedicines.org

Warning signs of a fake online pharmacy

The telltale signs of a phony online pharmacy are the following:

  • Unlicensed by a state board of pharmacy in the United States
  • No physical office or its location is outside of the United States
  • Include information that the medicine is sourced from a foreign country
  • Ships prescription drugs globally
  • Send spam or marketing emails offering cheaper than usual medications
  • Offers discounts that are too good to be true

Tips to identify the legitimate online pharmacy

  • Legitimate online pharmacies would
  • Require a valid prescription
  • Provide a physical address in the United States
  • Have a state-licensed pharmacist to assist an
  • d answer your queries
  • Be licensed by the state board of pharmacy
  • Provide contact information
  • Have the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites ™ Seal

Buying medications online from an overseas source

Since the FDA only has jurisdiction over prescription medication in the United States; thus, it cannot guarantee the authenticity of drugs bought abroad. Prescription drugs in other countries may have a minimal variation or different ingredients used.

Source: cancercurepharmacy.com

Studies done by the FDA show that numerous counterfeit drugs are circulating in the market. Most often, it is hard to identify the copycat from the genuine ones. The practice of counterfeiting applies to both generic and brand name medications. For instance, FDA was able to obtain a counterfeit version of a weight loss drug, Xenical bought by three consumers from two different websites. Upon laboratory testing, it was found out that it contained a wrong active ingredient, sibutramine. Sibutramine is categorized as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. If these drugs were distributed for public use, certain complications like heart attack and stroke can happen to those who are taking the obesity drug.

This is why, people should be diligent in knowing the source of their medicines. Don’t be enticed on the special freebies and discounts that you can obtain while you purchase them online. If there’s a lot of enticement, it is too to good to be true. For more information about the nature of your medications, and how working with a licensed professional can help improve your situation (and if you’re working about that, you might want to consider therapy online). This isn’t an endorsement for that type of treatment, but it’s getting increasingly popular and lots of people are trying it.