Tips on Buying Prescription Drugs Online

Common sense can go far to protect you when shopping at pharmaceutical Web sites. As the number of online pharmaceutical sites grows, more and more of them bypass the traditional procedures and safeguards for prescribing medication.

Some sites sell products that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  Or, if they carry approved drugs, they may avoid procedures that were set up to protect consumers.

The following tips are from the FDA:

DON’T buy from sites that offer to prescribe a medication for the first time without a physical exam by your doctor or that sell prescription medicine without a prescription.

DON’T buy from sites that include undocumented case histories claiming amazing medical results

DON’T buy from sites that include undocumented case histories claiming amazing medical results.

DON’T buy from sites without posted customer service policies.

DO take only medications that have been prescribed by your doctor or other authorized health care provider.

DO buy only from sites that require prescriptions from a physician or other authorized health care provider and that verify each prescription before dispensing medication.

DO use sites that provide convenient access to a licensed pharmacist who can answer your questions.

DO check with your state board of pharmacy or with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) at . Some sites display the NABP VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) seal, an assurance that such sites meet all applicable state and federal regulations.

DO buy only from US-based sites.

DO report problems. If you suspect a site is not a licensed pharmacy, do not buy from it.

Report the site and any complaints to the FDA at  For more information, go to  or call 1-888-INFOFDA.

Information in this article provided by the FDA.

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