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How to Find a Reputable Online Pharmacy

By uds uds | January 16, 2019

How to Find a Reputable Online Pharmacy - Universal Drugstore Pharmacy News

There are an increasing number of ways to buy prescription and over-the-counter medications from the convenience of your own home. Online pharmacies are efficient and simple. But while many are a great alternative to brick-and-mortar pharmacies, some are illegal and potentially dangerous.

If you decide to order your medicine from an online pharmacy, know the source and make sure it’s legitimate.

The Online Pharmacy Industry

Online pharmacies are becoming more prevalent and many people choose to use them to save both time and money. Online drugstores are beneficial for people with disabilities and/or long-term illnesses, as they offer a simple way to be independent and acquire medications by oneself.

Generally, online drugstores are able to sell discounted medications because they serve a wider audience from one central location. Many online pharmacies, however, are often not located where their name implies and do not adhere to stringent regulations for selling prescription medications.

Some illegitimate pharmacies may claim to be Canadian, but do not work with any Canadian pharmacy partners. Such pharmacies may source unapproved, expired, or counterfeit drugs from countries without adequate regulations, putting the patients’ health at risk.

With the rising costs of prescription medications, many patients choose to go online and order medications, often from Canadian drugstores. Medication costs in Canada are typically much lower as drug prices are regulated by the government. Canadian online pharmacies that are licensed and operate legally offer convenience, anonymity, and security to their customers.

Do not purchase medications from a website that doesn’t require a prescription, or one that is missing contact information (e.g., phone number, email, mailing address).

CIPA Standards and Practices

It is essential to remember that legitimate online Canadian drugstores or websites that partner with licensed Canadian pharmacies are approved by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA).

CIPA’s members provide access to licensed international pharmacy partners that work towards providing patients with easy access to prescription drugs at fair prices. CIPA-certified members abide by strict standards to ensure customer safety.

Online pharmacies accredited by CIPA sell prescription drugs from licensed Canadian and/or licensed international pharmacies. The association only certifies legitimate websites which provide high-quality medications.

CIPA pharmacies follow the same mail-order process as any local pharmacy, meaning that a valid and signed prescription from a doctor/health care provider is required for ordering prescription medications online.

As a proud CIPA-approved member, Universal Drugstore provides competitively-priced medications from trustworthy sources only. Each prescription ordered through our website is thoroughly checked by a licensed pharmacist, and our strict confidentiality procedures ensure customers’ privacy online.

 

How to Find a Reputable Online Pharmacy

For many consumers, differentiating between legitimate and non-legitimate online pharmacies can be a challenge. Knowing what to look for – and using the right resources – can help you verify whether you are dealing with a legitimate online pharmacy website.

Identifying Certified Canadian Drugstores

Before ordering any medication online, ensure that the online drugstore works with licensed pharmacy partners which require a valid prescription from a licensed physician, evidenced by a CIPA-certified logo on the website. To verify whether an online Canadian pharmacy is a CIPA-member, you may use the CIPA seal verification page.

A certified online pharmacy will provide a licensed pharmacist who can answer any questions regarding your medications. It’s vital that you are able to receive guidance on whether a medicine is suitable, as well as information regarding possible side effects and drug interactions. Not being able to find a way to discuss your concerns with an on staff pharmacist is a red flag.

Beware of Fraudulent Websites

Beware of online pharmacies that allow you to order a prescription medication without a valid prescription from your doctor. A certified online drugstore will only sell prescription drugs with a valid prescription from a licensed prescriber.

Prescription drugs that are sold online without a prescription are often not genuine, deliberately mislabelled, lacking active ingredients, and may even contain harmful ingredients.

Buying from non-certified sources also increases the risk of medications being handled inadequately. If a medicine is not stored properly, it may become ineffective in treating the condition for which it has been prescribed.

Taking falsified medications can lead to serious health complications. Severe or unexpected adverse effects – as well as dangerous drug interactions – may occur.

Scam Websites

Watch out for scam websites that claim to have “miracle cures” for serious conditions, or promise too-good-to-be-true results. In your mailbox, look out for “spam” or unsolicited emails advertising extremely cheap medications. These scam/rogue pharmacies often take money without actually sending any products.

Suspicious URLs

Whenever you visit an online pharmacy website, remember to pay attention to the URL in the address bar of the browser. A URL address that looks nothing like the pharmacy name stated on the homepage is a red flag. Spelling mistakes, as well as extra symbols/characters in the URL may also indicate a fraudulent website. A list of illegitimate online pharmacies and their URLs can be found on Pharmacy Checker.

Read Customer Reviews and Ratings

Customer reviews and ratings help people make better choices when making their purchases. They offer valuable guidance from consumers who have already used the product or service.

People are generally more likely to consult online reviews when purchasing a product from an unknown company or to assess quality (if the product is new). Customer feedback is also useful when the buyer feels that the price of the product is expensive or “too good to be true”.

Reading pharmacy reviews can help you choose an online drugstore by verifying the legitimacy of the business. With online pharmacy reviews and ratings, you can discover what customers are saying about the quality of the provided medications, as well as their overall shopping experience.

Look for a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Fraudulent pharmacy websites will not protect your privacy and personal information, such as your credit card information. Before entering any payment details, ensure the website has a secure sockets layer (SSL) in place.

The secure sockets layer is a security protocol that ensures sensitive information – such as passwords and payment information – is protected by encryption. If the online pharmacy has set up an SSL, the left-hand side of the website link in the address bar (URL) will appear as “https://”, instead of “http://”.

Online pharmacies with a valid SSL certificate have been verified by a certificate authority as trusted.

 

What Are Some Safe and Reliable Online Pharmacies?

Ordering prescription drugs from non-certified pharmacies can be dangerous. If you follow the tips outlined above, however, you will be able to easily identify companies that are safe and trustworthy.

Reputable Canadian pharmacies are certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and partner with licensed Canadian pharmacies and international pharmacy partners.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our patient care representatives via phone or email. Our call center is open 24/7 to ensure each customer receives the best service available.

With prices that are up to 80% lower than your local pharmacy, choose Universal Drugstore as your online pharmacy and start saving today on your medications!

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