Buying Prescriptions Online– Advice for Consumers
Like many Americans, it seems that every time I check my e-mail my inbox is cluttered with a dozen unsolicited messages from web sites peddling Viagra, Cialis, OxyContin, and any number of other potent medications “without a prescription.” buy oxycontin
Ordering prescription medications online can be a safe, affordable, and easy way to have your prescriptions filled. More and more Americans are using the Internet legally to fill prescriptions. Unfortunately, it seems that the vast majority of internet-based pharmacies are questionable at best, and it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate operators.
On September 21, 2005, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a news release to provide the public with information about how to buy medications online safely.
According to the DEA, the only safe way to obtain a prescription to order from a legitimate online site is to first have a face-to-face meeting with your doctor. He or she will take the necessary steps, to include a physical examination and any tests, to properly diagnose your aliment and prescribe appropriate medications. With a valid prescription from your doctor, you can fill, or refill in many cases, a prescription for a Controlled Substance over the Internet.
Many online pharmacies–and the sources of the drugs they sell—are controlled by individuals operating overseas. That means they may not meet U.S. FDA standards for purity and safety. Consumers utilizing these foreign pharmacies have no idea where the drugs they order originate, if they contain safe ingredients, and if they are what you think they are.
Consumers may think they are dealing with a legitimate doctor as they order drugs on the Internet. In some cases, patients are asked to fill out a questionnaire that is approved by a “doctor.” These forms do not constitute a medical exam, and they do not represent a valid doctor/patient relationship. Any doctor who enables you to buy products online without a valid prescription is breaking the law. He or she can be arrested and lose the ability to practice medicine.
According to the DEA, patients are also breaking the law by ordering without a valid prescription from a doctor.
Children and teens can order illegal drugs on-line easily. A teen can log on to a computer and order drugs with a credit card or money order. In addition, credit card statements do not accurately reflect charges for drugs on the Internet—they are often disguised as benign purchases using false company names.
Although many legitimate online pharmacies offer competitive prices and convenience, les reputable sites generally charge a great deal more for the drugs than a legitimate pharmacy would.
You can protect yourself from illegal online pharmacies. Look for common indicators to identify whether a website may not be legitimate and should not be used to purchase controlled substances:
The site should have a physical address for the pharmacy, in addition to its phone number -if it doesn’t, it’s probably suspect. Think about it: why would a legitimate, legally-operating pharmacy have only a post office box?
Real pharmacies don’t send spam to advertise to consumers. If you get spam drug ads, report them as spam and don’t open them.
Suspect sites don’t participate in insurance plans and demand that purchases be made by credit card or money orders. It’s an economic fact that in today’s day and age any legitimate doctor or retail pharmacy must accept insurance payments. Rogue internet pharmacies don’t, because they don’t want to invite scrutiny of their practices by insurance companies or public assistance agencies.
Illegitimate sites only have a limited number of drugs for sale. Ask yourself: would a legitimate pharmacy sell Viagra and Levitra, but not antibiotics?
These sites usually advise you about the law and why it is permissible to purchase drugs from foreign countries on the Internet. Don’t be fooled–it’s illegal.
Legitimate online pharmacies always ask the name, address and phone number of your physician, so that they can verify your prescription and ask any important follow-up questions.
As the internet continues to evolve, entrepreneurs continue to develop innovative ways for it to enhance and simplify our daily lives. Just as the web has revolutionized the way we buy airline tickets and shop for cars, it is beginning to redefine pharmaceutical retailing. If consumers exercise these guidelines to avoid illegal rogue sites, buying prescription medications online will provide ever-increasing convenience and safety.