We probably do not do enough to appreciate the pharmacists in our lives and our environs. Still, a pharmacy is one of humankind’s essentials, important for healthy living. With the spiral growth in science and technology, almost all spheres of life have been digitalized. Brands are moving to the online space, building their internet following, and the health and medical world is not left behind.
Many medical and pharmaceutical practices now have an online presence, making it easier and more convenient to interact with your health practitioner or pharmacist. The pandemic highlighted this digitalized movement, with only critical medical conditions attended to in brick and mortar hospitals and health centers. Life after the pandemic has not detoured from this route as people continue with the virtual trend of doing things. One of such ways is purchasing medications from online pharmacies.
While this is an innovation beneficial to many, the internet is littered with many unsafe pharmacies dealing in unsafe pharmaceutical practices, which may be harmful to unsuspecting individuals. To avoid being a victim of one of these unsafe pharmacies, these three factors are things you should look out for:
Three things to consider before choosing an online pharmacy
- Is it licensed?
A major red flag of any professional practice is if it’s unlicensed and unregistered under the. Worse still is if it has no licensed practitioner attending to clients or carrying out operations.
To be on the safe side, ensure the online pharmacy you are choosing is registered and licensed by the appropriate pharmacy regulatory authority; usually the regulatory authority of the specific province or territory it is located.
- Does it require a doctor’s prescription?
Safe pharmacies like Canada Drugs will often sell drugs on doctor’s prescriptions. In a bid to sell off drugs, Illegal online pharmacies may sell high-risk medications (HRMs) without asking for a doctor’s prescription or prescribing drugs without a proper medical examination.
Pharmacies comfortable selling drugs online with no doctor’s prescription, especially for HRMs, are usually predictably illegal, fake, or run by amateurs.
- Does it list a verifiable physical address?
The internet space is where scammers can easily disappear as quickly as they pop up. A functioning website can be pulled down any minute, leaving victims of whatever scam helpless and stranded.
An online Pharmacy without any verifiable physical address is suspicious. It could disappear in a twinkle, leaving you in a dilemma, especially if you purchased and used fake drugs or the wrong prescription.
With about 35,000 pharmacies online at any given time and more than 95% of that number being illegal pharmacies, you must exercise utmost caution when choosing an online pharmacy. Ensure it is duly registered under the appropriate authorities and belongs to the relevant regional and international professional associations, amongst others.
Most importantly, check with your insurance company if your medication costs are covered by insurance as only trustworthy pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies are vetted by insurance companies. Stay safe while staying healthy.