Many online pharmacies are safe, legal companies. They use the same safety measures for distributing medicine. But it is important to keep in mind that not every online pharmacy is legitimate or even regulated. Generally, consumers can trust these businesses just as they would their local pharmacist or neighborhood pharmacy chain.
It is very important to know how to buy medicines safely from an online medical store. It might seem like a good idea to order prescription drugs on the internet, but it could put you or your loved ones at risk. Always choose trusted online pharmacies and sellers whether you're looking for medications or any other product.
It's always important to be cautious when buying medicines online. Some websites may sell products that haven't been approved by the DRAP for safety and effectiveness. Some sites may claim to provide medications with no safety measures guaranteed, meaning they have not been checked for dangerous ingredients and you could potentially be putting your health at risk if you take them.
Other sites may pretend to be licensed medical providers, just that they don’t necessarily hold the proper licenses necessary to validate their claims and formally regulate activities on behalf of patients which could again put your health in jeopardy.
Is It Safe to Purchase Drugs Online?
If you choose the right pharmacy, it can be safe. Make sure to avoid hundreds (even thousands) of online pharmacies that may have rogue elements posing as legitimate businesses. Many of these so-called online pharmacies might even be unregistered. This also means they’re probably not medically sound or legal if they’re operating outside the law. Getting medication from places other than reputable pharmacies often poses the very real risk of getting fake, diluted, outdated, or otherwise compromised batches of drugs. So make sure you know what to look for when buying medicines from an online pharmacy.
Follow These Steps To Buy Medicine From Online Stores
There are ample ways that can help you figure out whether to buy medicine from a particular online pharmacy or not. Let's see the signs of fake online pharmacy.
Here we have compiled the best options to keep in mind before considering an online medical store.
1. Beware of High Claims
Be careful if the online medical shop is making claims about “amazing results” or “best cure in the town”. This sounds inappropriate, but if a website openly brags about amazing results for their medication, it could hint at a possibility of fraud. Therefore, if something seems too good to be true, better to consult with your physician.
2. Check Seal of Medicine
Medicines often have a security seal that should be damaged or opened. It is the only way that can make us sure that the medicine inside is fresh and secure. Always try to avoid using medicines without a seal.
3. Be wary of a Bargain
Here's an instance where paying less for a pill than you normally would end up causing problems for you down the road.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where your medicine's normal price is Rs. 100 and you can get it at Rs. 30, be careful in this scenario. This could be possible that the medicine is not approved by DRAP. (check if there isn't any discount offer applied)
4. Check Pharmacy Store’s Website
There are many online pharmacies that claim to sell authentic medicines but these are not registered. Buying medicines from such websites can harm you because medicine might be diluted or expired.
5. Be Aware if you are not asked for a Prescription
Always use pharmacist-certified pharmacies that require a prescription from your doctor or other licensed professional. Else, there are chances that you will get the wrong medicine.
6. Check Availability of Pharmacist
It is far better to check whether the online pharmacy has a licensed pharmacist to talk to over the phone, email, or online.
7. If You are Receiving Emails or Messages from Pharmacy
Avoid all those pharmacies that habitually send spam or unsolicited emails or text messages offering medicines or supplements at low prices.
8. Check Prices
Make sure you are going to get the best price for your medications online, as is mostly the online price is more than the actual price. Call your local pharmacies and ask about the price of certain medications and compare it with online medical store prices.
While there isn't a large gap between prices charged by regular drugstores and some online websites, these prices can be up to 50% more than what is offered by many health service providers.
9. Don't share your Personal Information
It is advised not to share your personal details with the pharmacy unless you are sure about their authenticity. Particularly, your medical history and your credit card number.
10. Check Physical Address
It is important to check whether the medical store has some physical address or not. It is much better if a pharmacy has some address mentioned on their website.
11. Check website Security
Make sure you check the website's security by clicking on the padlock icon next to the website address. It's a sign that any information users enter will be encrypted.
13. Online Auction Sites
Online auction sites are not always licensed to sell medications. If you're dealing with someone who is selling prescription medication but they don't happen to be a pharmacist, they're in violation of the law. Simply avoid this kind of website.
14. Check Your Package When Received
When you receive a package that contains your medication and instructions from the pharmacy, carefully go through it for any discrepancies. Medication should be placed in a container that contains patient information, directions on how to take the medication, and what possible side effects there may be if any occur. If the patient information sheet is not included with the medications within the package itself, refrain from taking them until suitable communication can be made to determine if anything needs correcting.
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Signs of a Safe Online Pharmacy
These are some points that can help you identify that the pharmacy is safe to buy medicines or any medical devices. Authentic pharmacies ask for;
- a valid prescription from your physician or healthcare professional
- Pharmacy is licensed by the state’s drug regulatory authority
- They should have a licensed pharmacist available at their pharmacy to answer any of your queries
- They have shown a proper Phone number, street address, and email ID. It is much better if they have social media platforms, a user can check reviews from the old consumers.
How to make sure you use an online pharmacy registered with the DRAP
You need to make sure in any case that the online medical store and pharmacists are licensed & registered at DRAP. This helps you make sure that you will receive safe medicines meeting the health standards.
All pharmacies in Pakistan, including online medical shops, should be registered with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).
Owners of pharmacies have to meet DRAP standards and follow their guidance on providing services. Moreover, they must have a medical store license, and it should be provided if demanded by consumers.
Risks of Buying Medicine Online
As more people use the internet to understand their health problems and get advice about what medicines they may require for their symptoms, many of them choose to buy medication. However, it is often illegal and unsafe to purchase such medicine with the help of websites that are not registered as pharmacies. Although some people find it cheap to buy such medicine online (without a prescription), this is actually very unsafe given how fake these medicines can sometimes be.
It is important to take medicine properly to avoid harming your health. Many people think that it’s okay to take medicine without medical supervision because they believe that modern medicine is made of only natural ingredients. But medicines from unregistered websites are dangerous even if their ingredients are natural because unscrupulous companies could mix other ingredients and sell them as pure.
Above all, many medicines found on those sites may have passed their expiry and are not good for the human body. Remember to discuss your needs with a registered pharmacist in order to avoid any possible side effects or negative interactions between medications that you might already be taking and new ones you plan on adding.
Online shopping is at its peak these days all over the globe, specifically, the COVID-19 made us more reluctant in purchasing stuff from the online marketplace. Buying from online marketplaces seems easy but this could lead us to fraud sometimes. So keeping an eye on these options is a must to do before putting stuff in your cart.
So, these are some points that can help you buy authentic medicine from online medicines safely. It is important to take care of your health and make sure that you are going to buy safe medications and other health care devices.