Illegal web pharmacies are springing up faster than can be counted. It’s important to avoid making purchases from them, not only for the fact they aren’t legitimate, but they also could cause serious health problems.
Many times, they sell drugs that look similar to the real deal or they make claims of being FDA-approved. Some fake Web pharmacies try to link their products to well-known retailers such as Walgreens or CVS. But they could actually be counterfeit, stolen or contain harmful ingredients — which could lead to adverse events, including death.
The drug may be ineffective because it doesn’t contain an important active ingredient to treat your particular condition. With so many risks, it’s critical to get savvy about online drug shopping and learn what you can do to avoid purchasing a drug from an illegal web pharmacy.
What to Look for When Purchasing Drugs Online
The following are tips that could protect your health and keep you from purchasing drugs manufactured by an illegal Web pharmacy:
- remember that although some online pharmacies are legitimate, the majority are not;
- avoid websites claiming to be from Canada (even if it is legitimate, it’s illegal to import prescription medications from other countries);
- ask your doctor’s advice about purchasing from a particular online pharmacy;
- check the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NADP) to see if it’s licensed;
- look for a seal of approval from Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS), which is only issued when they allow inspections from NADP and maintain state licenses;
- ensure it has a licensed pharmacist available to answer questions;
- provides contact information (U.S. address and/or phone number);
- avoid when low prices appear too good to be true;
- avoid claims a drug can treat a wide variety of illnesses or diseases that aren’t related;
- don’t purchase if a prescription isn’t required;
- look for privacy and security policies (this protects your personal information); and
- look for outrageous claims (i.e., cure-all, scientific breakthrough, quick fix, no-risk, money-back guarantee, free trial).
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, we value the consumer’s right to information. To keep yourself apprised of scams like illegal Web pharmacies or product recalls and defect notices, sign up for our newsletter, Torts and More. If you think you may have accidentally purchased a drug from an illegal pharmacy online and suffered illness as a result, call our office at 800-550-0000.