Buying prescription medicine online is illegal if:
- You don’t have a prescription for the medicine you purchase
- You fill out a questionnaire instead of getting physically examined by a doctor
- 97% of websites selling prescription drugs are operating illegally.
- As of October 2014 an estimated 36 million Americans had purchased medicine online without a prescription.
- 40,000 to 60,000 Websites are illegally selling prescription drugs.
To obtain a valid prescription, a doctor must physically examine the patient. Prescriptions written by “cyber doctors” that rely on online questionnaires to treat a patient’s condition are not legal.
Be careful if you order medicine online. Here’s how:
- Are located in the U.S.
- Are licensed by the state board of pharmacy where the website operates (Go to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to verify your site, or look for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites Seal)
- Have a licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions
- Require a prescription for prescription medicines from your doctor/licensed prescriber
- Provide contact information, such as a 24-hour phone line, and someone to answer questions
- Send you drugs with unknown quality or origin
- Give you the wrong drug or another dangerous product for your illness
- Do not provide contact information
- Offer prices that are drastically lower than the competition – if the deal seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam
- Offer to sell you drugs without a prescription – that’s against the law
- Do not protect your personal information
- The “Aware Rx” website lists hundreds of “Not Recommended Sites.” See if the online pharmacy you’re considering is on the list.
- Food and Drug Administration. (2018). How to buy medicines safely from an online pharmacy.
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. (2018). Buying medicine online – what are the risks?
- United States Dept. of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration. (2018). Buying drugs online may be illegal and dangerous.