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Is buying medication online safe?

Posted in OnlineClinic 25 Apr, 2012

Ordering medication over the internet may seem like a relatively new idea, but if you look at the industry you will find that people have been buying medication online for several years now. Personally, I wasn't even aware this was possible up until about a year ago. To me medication was something you went to see your doctor about before they sent you off in the direction of a high street pharmacy with a prescription in-hand. But for whatever reason, discretion or convenience, buying medication online is becoming more and more commonplace.

The problem is that the industry has gotten itself a bad reputation, as illegal pharmacies selling counterfeit and generic medications have sprouted up all across the world, essentially drowning out the few legitimate online providers such as Online Clinic. Illegal pharmacies offer treatments at unrealistically low prices and are generally not regulated or supervised in the same way as genuine pharmacies. The result is that the actual tablets being dispensed might not be from reputable sources and can end up containing things like rat poison, paint thinner and other toxic chemicals simply to make up for the lack of authentic active ingredients in the medication. It goes without saying that this practice could severely damage a person's health if they were to use such a treatment.

The second issue is that the majority of these illegal websites will offer prescription medications without a prescription. Medications that require a doctor to prescribe them are in that category for a reason, as they may cause certain side effects or have dangerous reactions in certain individuals. Doctors therefore form an integral part of the process to help ensure the person receiving the medication is a suitable candidate for treatment. If no prescription is required, the danger exists that a patient might receive a medication that is not intended or designed for them to use.

Genuine online pharmacies will employ doctors who consult with prospective patients before their medication is dispensed. This is usually done in the form of an online consultation, where medical history and information is provided by the patient. Once the doctor has reviewed this, they will either issue a prescription to the pharmacy or refuse based on medical grounds and safety.

Because of these two factors, being able to identify valid and legitimate online pharmacies when buying medication online is extremely important. In the United Kingdom, the best indicator that a pharmacy is legitimate is the online pharmacy registration mark displaying a valid General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registration number.

Online Pharmacy Logo

This signifies that the pharmacy in question has applied to the GPhC to dispense medications online safely and they have been approved. The registration will also most likely link to the pharmacyregulation.org website, where the information about the pharmacy, such as location, will be readily available.

An online pharmacy should also provide patients with contact support, and as such giving a prospective pharmacy a call is a great way to establish their legitimacy. If you're trying to find a particular medication, phone the pharmacy and asked them about it. If at any point there seems to be a lack of understanding in terms of the process of buying medication online or the medication itself, chances are the pharmacy isn't genuine.

Finally, there should be several secure payment options provided and the website should display its security measures openly. This can include things like a SSL (secure-socket layer), a Verisign certificate or other official approval. It will help a little to research the website first before placing an order, paying attention to the language and grammar used. Often false websites will have poor content and the information itself will be misleading, which suggests it might not be a secure or genuine online pharmacy.

So is buying medication online safe? Yes, it can be. But it's strongly advised to do some research about the company you are wanting to buy from before placing an order. The market is saturated with false claims and unfortunately illegitimate online pharmacies, but there are several genuine websites that offer medication in the right way.

If you have any questions about buying medication online or what makes an online pharmacy genuine, please feel free to post them below and I'll try and get back to you with the best answer.

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