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Articles - Prescriptions and the Internet

As technology continues to boom worldwide, it’s no surprise that many people are turning to the Internet to purchase their prescription medication. However, despite the convenience this option offers, it’s crucial that consumers are aware of the potential risks that buying medicine online poses.

For instance, some consumers may unknowingly purchase false, expired, unapproved or poor-quality medication from a disreputable site. In light of these risks, the FDA advises that people should look to purchase medicine from Web sites that:

  • Are licensed by the state board of pharmacy where the site is operating from.
  • Require a prescription from a licensed health care professional.
  • Have a licensed pharmacist who can answer any questions.
These types of Web sites should also protect your privacy and agree not to sell your information to outside sources. If you aren’t sure about the protection or reputation of a site, you can go to the FDA’s Web site at www.fda.gov/buyonline for more information. You can also see a list of the state boards of pharmacy at www.nabp.net to ensure that the site you intend to purchase from is in good standing. Purchasing prescriptions online can be very convenient, but it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying and who is providing it.

In all cases, patients should only order medicine that has been prescribed to them by their doctor. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information about Internet safety and your health.



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