Validity of online pharmacies can be tough to determine. Some
online pharmacies are extensions of conventional chain drug stores
while others are standalone businesses. The FDA has some
suggestions for finding good online pharmacies.
- The website should list contact information. This information
can be cross-referenced with the National Association of Boards of
Pharmacy (NABP) on their website at www.nabp.net.
- You should also be able to contact the pharmacy by phone. If no
contact information is listed, it is best to avoid using it.
- All pharmacies, whether online or not, can only dispense
prescription medications in accordance with a prescription. This
medication must be serving a legitimate medical purpose. If an
online pharmacy does not require a prescription, do not use it. Be
sure to verify how prescriptions should be sent to the
- Dietary supplements are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure
any disease. Any claims made by pharmacies about their dietary
supplements doing any of these things are unsubstantiated.
- Reputable online pharmacies should allow you to communicate
directly with a licensed pharmacist.
- Beware of administrative fees and any additional charges that
may apply to your order.
Before using an online pharmacy, be sure you are familiar with
the procedures they use to handle insurance information, privacy,
refills, medication storage during shipping, and damage occurring
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) reviews
websites that sell prescription medications. They have created
three categories to describe the websites.
- Recommended Internet
Pharmacies: These sites have been reviewed by the NABP and
have received their approval. These sites will display the image
shown below to state that they are a Verified Internet Pharmacy
Practice Site (VIPPS).
- Reviewed Internet Pharmacy Practice Site: The
NABP has reviewed the public information on these sites and they
appear to be in compliance with state and federal laws. The NABP
advises patients to use these sites with caution.
- Not Recommended Site: The NABP has reviewed
the site and it seems to not comply with state and federal
regulations or NABP safety and pharmacy practice standards.
When using the internet to purchase your prescription
medications look for the VIPPS seal or consult the NABP website at
www.nabp.net for a listing of recommended online pharmacies.
PharmacyChecker.com is an independent company that reviews
online pharmacies. They have verified the pharmacies on their
roster for quality and compliance with appropriate local pharmacy
boards. They also
search for the best prices on medications. Online pharmacies must
pay a fee to be reviewed by PharmacyChecker.com, and therefore
their list of pharmacies is not a complete and comprehensive list
of valid online pharmacies. The website is free to use to search
for drug prices by pharmacy. Paying members have access to
additional discounts and services through the website. Look for the
PharmacyChecker.com seal on online pharmacies.