Online pharmacies could potentially endanger your health, BBB warns

November 19, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — As more and more consumers search for less expensive alternatives to the high cost of prescription drugs, many have turned to online pharmacies. Online pharmacies can be a quick and easy way to get prescription drugs delivered straight to your door, but Better Business Bureau is warning that finding a safe site to order from could prove more difficult.

According to a report released by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), 97 percent of 10,000 websites analyzed were operating out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy law.

Ordering prescriptions through a rogue operator could put you or your family at risk. According to NABP, many websites selling prescription drugs are unlicensed, operating illegally, or operating from foreign countries where medicines shipped to the United States are unregulated. Therefore, there is no way to know whether the medicine is contaminated, sub-potent, super-potent, expired, counterfeit, or whether it has been stored and shipped under proper conditions to maintain its effectiveness.

According to the FBI, here are some ways you can identify a legitimate online pharmacy:

  • A prescription from a licensed doctor is required;
  • The site makes you submit a detailed medical history;
  • Its payment, privacy and shipping fees are clearly stated on its site; and
  • A secure or encrypted website connection is used for transactions.

Consumers looking for a safe, regulated online pharmacy should: