Internet Pharmacies: How to Tell if They're Legit

Will Rowe Health Guide
  • Increasingly, people are turning to the internet to shop for many of the luxuries and necessities. This is also true about the use of Internet Pharmacies. Clearly, there are the usual advantages of internet shopping--convenience, sometimes price, sometimes variety. But purchasing medicines online presents some significant risks that we should all know about and should avoid. All too frequently, online pharmacies announce themselves as "FDA approved" or "a certified Internet pharmacy"... But how can you tell for sure?

    If you choose to fill a prescription at a pharmacy website, how you answer that question could affect your safety and health. "Rogue" Internet pharmacies are known to send counterfeit pills that contain no active ingredients or dangerous, even poisonous, substances that can seriously endanger a person's health. Some pharmacy Web sites that purport to be "Canadian" are actually sending medicines from China, India, or Africa that may be expired (at best) or are different substances altogether. Many of these websites do not hesitate to ask for your money, but then send you nothing at all, even after you've paid them. And the "no prescription required" Web sites, which might seem like a convenient shortcut, cut corners by failing to review your medical history or require a previous doctor's examination.

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    On the other hand, legitimate online pharmacies can be convenient and help you save money. To help determine which online pharmacies are safe, you may want to connect to, which serves to verify the legitimacy and safety of online pharmacies. The organization's pharmacy Web site verification standards are recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which collectively represent all of the State Boards of Pharmacy. Because LegitScript does not charge pharmacies to be verified, the organization is able to develop a complete list of all legitimate pharmacy websites. Play it safe--verify.


    For more information about playing it safe with Internet pharmacies, check out Karen Lee Richards' Guide to Buying Prescription Drugs on the Internet.

Published On: August 01, 2008