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What are the Best Tips for Buying Online Prescription Drugs?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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When buying online prescription drugs, always make sure that you choose a reputable pharmacy, make sure the prescription suits your needs, and compare prices. It's important to put safety first when purchasing medications online. Prices are often of secondary consideration.

One of the best tips for buying online prescription drugs is to choose a reputable pharmacy. This may be a pharmacy that is well established, is recommended by medical professional that you respect, or has the endorsement of a reputable comparison Web site or business. The most important consideration, however, may be whether or not the pharmacy meets the licensing, registration, and operating requirements of your location. Laws and licensing requirements are typically intended, at least in part, to ensure people's safety.

Since pharmaceutical laws vary depending on the part of the world in which you live, buying prescription drugs from other countries could be dangerous. If the pharmacy is based in a country that has more relaxed drug laws, you may receive unsafe or contaminated medication. You may even receive the wrong medication, so you should check your purchase carefully to make sure that it's labeled correctly and matches the correct description of the medication. Be aware that you may have difficulty returning an item if the pharmacy is very far away.

Consider the use of remote physician consultations very carefully. When a pharmacy offers remote consultations, a medical professional consults with a patient over the phone or via the Internet, prescribing medications without ever seeing him or her in person. While most online pharmacies accept prescriptions a patient receives from his or her own healthcare provider, some consumers like the convenience of getting prescriptions without leaving home.

The practice of providing remote prescription consultations is controversial. Its proponents assert that it is safe, saying that the questions of a remote medical professional are often sufficient to ensure that the right medication is prescribed. Opponents say there’s a risk that the wrong medication or dose will be prescribed, or that the prescription will interact poorly with the patient's other medicines. Some even fear that a remote healthcare professional will overlook the symptoms of a potentially serious condition.

Prices vary among online pharmacies, and it's important to compare costs. Since there are many online pharmacies, there’s often competition in terms of the pricing of drugs, remote consultations, and even shipping. If you take some extra time to research several pharmacies, you may be able to find one that offers the lowest prices for the prescriptions you needs. Some online pharmacies even offer free online consultations and shipping.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By Logicfest — On Aug 22, 2014

@Vincenzo -- And some prescriptions are so specialized that you will have little choice but to deal with an online or mail order pharmacy that your doctor recommends. That happened to me not long ago. My doctor prescribed a drug that is so expensive and uncommon that local pharmacies simply don't have it in stock. We had no choice but to deal with an online pharmacy my doctor has worked with time and time again.

By Vincenzo — On Aug 21, 2014

The best move may be to simply ask your doctor for suggestions. Online pharmacies are becoming more common, but separating the good ones from the bad ones can be troublesome.

The chances are good your doctor has dealt with one or two of them. A good doctor will steer you in the correct direction.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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