Online Prescription Drugs

Buying medication on the Internet

Buying from reputable online drug companies can be convenient, but buyer beware. An increasing number of online drug companies sell prescription drugs that have no FDA approval at a reduced cost for desperate consumers. Although it may be tempting to save a little money, there are a multitude of reasons, some of which are life and death, to stick with state-licensed pharmacists.

If you plan to purchase medication online, speak with your doctor about it in advance. He or she will be able to guide you to appropriate sites and answer any questions you may have about your prescription. In a bind, you can go to www.nabp.info for a list of reputable websites that are in good standing.

Online pharmacies that have met the state and federal guidelines will have a VIPPS seal, which is a blue marking with the letters VIPPS in red. It will also say National Association Boards of Pharmacy on it. All reputable companies will have an online pharmacist available for questions and will require a prescription from your doctor.

As tempting as it is to self-diagnose and purchase medication off the black market, there are very good reasons not to do so. First and foremost, the FDA has not approved of the medication, meaning you have no idea whether what you are actually ingesting is what the label says it is, and there is no research on side effects or drug interactions.

A lot of medications sold online are fake, meaning the little white pill you are taking could, in fact, just be aspirin or may be a number of other chemicals. Even if you do purchase the actual medication, a lot of online companies mix their drugs with other things to make their profit margin stretch. You could be taking too high or too low a dosage.

Also, many of these medications are past their due dates or fished from dumpsters. Without medical guidance, you have no idea what interactions this drug may have with other medications you are currently taking. Self-diagnosis can also be incorrect, rendering you defenseless if you medicate the wrong disease.

Aside from physical dangers, purchasing drugs from online companies puts you at high risk of identity theft. A lot of these companies do not protect your personal information, or even sell it for profit.

Although there is a "sticker shock" surrounding medicines, the high price tags ensure you are getting the appropriate medicine, the correct dose and a drug that has been tested for side effects, safety and interactions. Until our medical system discovers a way to lower drug costs, we will have to continue to spend a little more to purchase legal drugs.

By Molly Carter