If you haven’t heard about them yet, it’s very possible that you’ll hear about them soon — online pharmacies, that is. As much as the prescription drug industry is controlled, you’d think that something as sketchy-sounding as an “online pharmacy” would be obliterated by the government in a matter of days. Surprisingly, however, government officials seem to have a lot of trouble tracking down these pharmacies and making sure that they’re following all the regulations that traditional pharmacies are required to follow.
If you happen to feel compelled to order a prescription from one of these virtual stores, hold on just a minute and remember these points:
- As already stated, the government has quite a few problems making sure that online pharmacies abide by certain regulations, which means that plenty of online pharmacies don’t abide by legal pharmaceutical regulations. Although there are a handful of online pharmacies that are trustworthy, it’s easy for sketchy businesses to fool consumers into thinking that the business is legitimate. By ordering something from an online pharmacy, you’re taking a big risk.
- That risk, primarily, is that you can’t be sure if the pharmacy is sending you the actual medication you ordered and need. Many online pharmacies make the majority of their profits by selling drugs that haven’t been approved by the FDA; because some of these drugs are available in other countries, it’s possible to smuggle them into the U.S. and sell them to desperate consumers. The problem is, if a drug hasn’t been approved by the FDA, then it hasn’t been tested enough to prove that it’s safe to consume.
- Another risk pertains to medication monitoring and drug interactions of individual people. Unlike traditional pharmacies, which tend to have high-tech retail pharmacy POS systems available and can use these POS systems to track the prescription sales for each customer — ultimately helping the staff determine if any harmful drug interactions might occur — online pharmacies rarely (if ever) provide this service to customers.
It’s estimated that about $75 billion worth of counterfeit drugs are sold across the world each year — and you definitely don’t want to contribute to this amount by ordering your medications from an online pharmacy. All legal repercussions aside, the biggest risk you’d be taking is putting your own health in danger. Research more here.