Best Practices

Ordering Prescriptions Online Can Be Dangerous

Going to a local pharmacy may seem to be a hassle, but brick & mortar pharmacies carry many advantages, which are often overlooked.

RMS buzzgraphic   mail order pharmaciesAs you know, many patients requiring prescription medications have begun ordering them online. It’s usually cheaper, saves time and the prescription arrives right at your door. Sounds like a great option, doesn’t it? But many consumers aren’t aware that it is actually quite dangerous; there are many risks involved when buying prescription drugs online.  Use these talking points the next time the issue is brought up by one of your patients.

Many websites selling prescription drugs haven’t been approved by the FDA, and are therefore selling these drugs illegally. The FDA prohibits online websites from selling controlled prescriptions (narcotic pain relievers, sedatives, stimulants, and anabolic steroids), but many websites continue to do so. An estimated 10 percent of all pharmaceutical medication in the U.S. is thought to be counterfeit, and the online prescription drug industry is a major participant in illegal drug transactions. When patients receive a fake prescription, the best-case scenario is to receive sugar pills instead of the actual prescription ordered. But online drug transactions often become more dangerous than this. Rogue pharmaceutical websites have been known to sell drugs with the wrong active ingredient, too much or too little of the active ingredient, or drugs that contain other dangerous substances – all while telling customers that they’re getting the correct medication. Quite simply, buying a prescription online is dangerous.

Going to a local pharmacy may seem to be a hassle, but actual pharmacies carry many advantages, which are often overlooked.

Prescriptions can be filled at a local pharmacy on the same day that they are prescribed to you. When you order a prescription online, it could take days – if not weeks – to arrive at your door.

Local pharmacies only hire pharmacists who have been professionally trained and can provide personalized help, face-to-face, with each customer. Many drugs have ingredients that create harmful interactions when combined with others – even with non-prescription medications—and a pharmacist will be able to warn you about these risks before you purchase anything or take a medication.

Shopping at a local pharmacy, like shopping at any local business, helps stimulate the economy. It provides real jobs for real people, and it creates a higher standard of living for the entire community.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has been working with local pharmaceutical organizations since 1999 to make online medication sales safer for customers, but it’s important to note that there are still many risks involved, and these risks can be very dangerous. Until rogue online pharmaceutical websites can be eliminated, industry experts advise customers to skip the online pharmacies and choose to visit their local pharmacies instead.

Check out the infographic to the left for a great breakdown of why shopping at a local pharmacy is the safer, healthier and smarter decision.  Hopefully by sharing these statistics with your patients, you can prevent them from making poor decisions.

















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