What to look for in an online pharmacy

.Pharmacy Verified Websites Program 

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) . Pharmacy Verified Websites Program helps consumers identify safe, trustworthy online pharmacies through the .pharmacy domain name.

Online pharmacies that utilize the ".pharmacy” domain, such as Harris Teeter, CVS, and Walgreens pharmacy chains,  have undergone a vetting process that ensures their compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards.

Part of what makes the .pharmacy domain unique is that it is a part of a website’s address and cannot be faked. Consumers should “look to the right of the dot” for the .pharmacy designation and should not purchase medications over the Internet if the vendor does not have .pharmacy featured in the URL. Shoppers can find an NABP-approved “.pharmacy” here.    

LegitScript

Consumers can also visit LegitScript.com to check on the legitimacy and safety of particular online pharmacies and their products, including dietary supplements. LegitScript monitors and catalogs warnings from more than 100 government agencies on an ongoing basis and follows regulatory developments in nearly 20 countries around the world.

Check with your health care provider

Consumers should always discuss the drug with their health care provider before taking a prescpription for the first time. Ask your doctor if there are any special instructions that you must follow when taking new medications, including how to prevent unwanted side effects. Consumers should only use prescriptions that have been prescribed to them—not others—by a physician who is licensed in the United States.

When buying medication online, consumers should know the source of the product, and ensure that the medicine is sold by a  state-licensed pharmacy that is located in the United States. Consult your health care provider if you are unsure about the safety of your medicine.