6 Things to Look for When Choosing an Online Pharmacy
Many online pharmacies have sprung up all over the country lately. They all seem to offer the same thing: low cost, convenience, and fast delivery. So, how do you know which ones are good? More importantly, can you trust them? We compiled a check list to make it easy for you to choose. Use the list below when comparing online pharmacies and make an informed decision.
Make sure the pharmacy you choose is a licensed US pharmacy and is also licensed to dispense and ship your medication to your location. The NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) has a list of accredited online pharmacies available here. Verified pharmacies should display the .Pharmacy (dot pharmacy) certificate on their website.
Another certification that shows sites’ credibility is LegitScript. When you see the LegitScript badge on a website, it means the company is legitimate, legal, and trustworthy.
Certain “online pharmacies” may not require a prescription for certain medications. This is illegal distribution. Be sure that you are asked to upload your prescription or give your current pharmacies information before ordering.
Transparent (and Affordable) Pricing
If a pharmacy is upfront about how they price their medications and offer generic medication alternatives instead of just the pricey name brands, that is a sign they most likely prioritize patient care over profit.
Customer Service Support
Just because a pharmacy is online, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a relationship with the customer. Look for a pharmacy that values feedback. Also look for one that is easy to contact. Do they just have an email? Or do they also have a phoneline and social media accounts with open direct messages to help you or answer any questions that you may have? The more available the better!
Refill and Pharmacy Switching
Look at what their process for changing to their pharmacy is and how they process refills. The best online pharmacies will make switching and refills as simple as possible. This information should also be easy to find. You don’t want to switch to an online pharmacy to save time only to find out you need to call and be on hold for hours to get your refills.
Flexible Wholesale Options
Medication is typically cheapest when bought in bulk. If you have medications you plan to take for your whole life, or at least the foreseeable future, look for pharmacies that can fill long-term prescriptions at a discounted price to the typical monthly or quarter annually refills.
Bonus: Information and Resources
Some online pharmacies may also create content (blogs, email subscriptions) to inform their customers and foster a pharmacy-patient relationship. Although this may not speak to the reputability of the pharmacy, it may give you more of an insight into their values and resources. So it may be a good idea to browse the pages on their website before making a final decision.