How to Buy Medications Safely Online: Everything You Need to Know

About one-third of survey respondents have used the internet to purchase medication during the COVID-19 pandemic. With COVID still a threat, more people are choosing to buy medications online. Not every online pharmacy is legitimate, though. 

Developing an online medication shopping strategy can help you avoid a potential scam. Otherwise, you might purchase medications that contain fillers. Some illegitimate websites are even hosted by hackers, leading to stolen personal data. 

Don’t let that happen! Instead, learn how to buy medication safely online. With these tips, you can shop safely.

You can have peace of mind that you’re trusting a legitimate medication store website before you start shopping. Then, you can experience the ease and convenience of shopping online.

Discover how to choose an online store you can trust with these simple tips today!

1. Have Your Prescription Ready

Above all else, make sure you have a doctor’s legitimate prescription before you purchase medications online. Never purchase medication without a doctor’s prescription.

Having a doctor’s prescription will ensure you receive the right medication. Otherwise, the pharmacy might not understand your request. They could send the wrong medications at the wrong dose.

Taking these medications could put your health at risk. You’ll fail to treat your underlying condition or receive the help you need.

Having a doctor’s prescription also ensures you purchase control medications legally. Otherwise, you might face a fine or worse. 

Besides, doctors understand your specific medical needs. Avoid letting anyone make mistakes about your prescriptions by talking to your doctor first. Trust their knowledge to ensure you only purchase medications based on a safe course of treatment. 

If an online pharmacy or medication store website doesn’t require a prescription, scratch them off your list. Make sure you’re able to contact a pharmacist before making your final purchase, too. 

2. Consult Your Doctor

Before you start shopping, you might want to talk to your doctor first. 

Once they provide you with your prescription, use them as an additional resource. They could help you learn more about buying medications safely online. In fact, they might have a list of recommended digital pharmacies you can choose from.

They’ll ensure you choose a pharmacy that will provide high-quality medications.

You can consult the doctors at to discover which medications you need.

If your doctor doesn’t know where you can purchase medications online safely, that’s okay. Ask if they can refer you to someone else for further insight.

Otherwise, consider consulting your insurance company. Some insurance providers already have a list of pre-approved online pharmacies. They might indicate which online stores you should avoid, too. 

3. Choose Recognizable Brands

Before you make a purchase, compare the brands that provide the medications you need.

Established, well-known pharmacy brands are likely complying with drug safety standards. You can find peace of mind choosing a brand you already recognize.

Finding recognizable brands can also help while you’re reading online customer reviews. If you find a brand no one has heard of, remove them from your list. 

4. Use Your Resources

Take the time to use the resources available to you while vetting your options for medications. Otherwise, you might choose a subpar medication. You might fall victim to a scam, too.

Using the pharmacy checking resources that are now available will help you validate each store’s credentials.

For example, you can start by visiting the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website. They have a list of “.Pharmacy” verified websites you can choose from.

The NABP reviews pharmacies with an online presence. They make sure each pharmacy is properly licensed and follows the applicable business best practices and laws. You can find peace of mind by choosing a store from their list.  

Otherwise, you can check the FDA’s list of unapproved drugs before making a purchase. 

As you visit each website, look for the NABP’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) Seal. This seal indicates the pharmacy is safe to use. The pharmacy meets licensure agreements and the NABP’s criteria. 

5. Read Reviews

Make sure to read online customer reviews for each medication store website you come across. Reviews can help you vet each business. You can learn from the people who were once in your shoes.

Remember to discount any website other shoppers haven’t heard of before. 

Check Google, Yelp, or the Better Business Bureau for testimonials and reviews. 

6. Comparison Shop

Americans spend about $1,200 per person a year on prescription medications. Before you buy medications safely online, compare your options.

Compare pricing between two or three different stores. Comparing medication prices can help you determine the average price. If one price appears too low, it likely is.

Don’t fall victim to extreme discounts or deals, either. Instead, do your due diligence. Visiting more than one store for the same medication can help you gather research. 

After comparing medication prices, start reviewing your notes.

Don’t choose the cheapest medication store website you find. Instead, make sure you’re choosing a high-quality medication. Otherwise, you might put your health at risk for the sake of saving money. 

7. Trust Your Gut

Once you’ve worked through the above seven tips, trust your gut. If a medication store website seems too good to be true, remember: it probably is. Use your gut to deduce the legitimacy of each site.

If you don’t think the company looks reputable or if there’s a reason you think it’s shady, avoid shopping from that site. It’s better safe than sorry. 

How to Buy Medications Online Safely: 7 Simple Tips for Successful Shopping

Don’t rush to shop from the first medication store website you encounter. Instead, use these tips to buy medications safely online. With these tips, you can feel confident in your final choice.

You can purchase the medications you need from the comfort and safety of your own home. Meanwhile, you won’t have to worry about potential hackers or scams.

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