Not all pharmacies are the same. Choosing one that you can depend on with your medicines and your health are important. When considering an online pharmacy for yourself or your loved ones, keep these five key features in mind that will help you make the best decision:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process assures that medicines sold in the United States are safe and effective. The FDA also confirms safety and effectiveness by testing both brand and generic drugs in its laboratories. This includes the raw ingredients used to make the product, as well as the finished drug. The FDA, through their approval process, verifies that different people, dosages, and drug interactions are considered to ensure your overall safety when taking a prescribed medication, whether it is a brand name drug or a generic.
Prescription drugs that have not been approved by the FDA pose significant risks to patients because they have not been reviewed for safety, effectiveness or quality. Without FDA review, there is no way to know if these drugs are safe and effective for their intended use, whether they are manufactured in a way that ensures consistent drug quality or whether their label is complete and accurate.
Compliance organizations that monitor pharmacies create rules, requirements, and processes for pharmacies to follow to assure the safety and protection of the consumer. Numerous illegal online pharmacies exist that fail to require a valid prescription for drugs exist. There also are online pharmacies selling unapproved, counterfeit, expired, misbranded, or falsified drugs. Some are even dispensing prescription drugs without a valid pharmacy license. Look for a symbol or icon on the online website that shows the company’s licensing and accreditation.
It is important to have a pharmacy team that supports you and one that you can trust with your important medicine-related needs. Look for a pharmacy that has a customer care contact that can help you get answers to common questions about medication availability and cost, shipping, ways to save on medicines and other frequent questions. Ideally, you should have access to the customer care person during the hours and days that work for you, not just weekdays and during typical business hours.
Being able to speak directly with a pharmacist is another benefit you should seek when choosing an online pharmacy you can trust. The pharmacist can discuss side effects of your prescription, he/she can identify interactions with other medicines you take, as well as provide answers to dosage questions, instructions for taking your medicines and if there are over-the-counter options to consider. Your pharmacist should also be willing and able to partner with your healthcare provider to ensure the best care possible for you and your family. Although they don’t typically have as extensive hours as the supporting customer care team, having the ability to speak to a pharmacist with enhanced hours of availability is a plus.
It is important to share your complete list of the medicines you take with your pharmacist, including supplements and anything from over-the counter. This helps ensure that your pharmacist is fully aware of any interactions that can occur and makes you aware of them. Selecting an online pharmacy that takes a proactive approach to managing your medicines is important.
Trusting a pharmacy includes trusting that they will keep your personal health information safe and private. Be sure that you choose a pharmacy that clearly outlines how your prescription and personal information is stored safely on a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and protected health information (PHI)-compliant server. You may also want to confirm that the pharmacy never shares your personal information with anyone other than your healthcare provider, and always with your permission.
Your pharmacy is an important part of your healthcare team when you take any medicine. It’s important to choose an online pharmacy you can count on to be licensed to sell safe, FDA-approved medicines, that they are there when you need them and that they care about both your privacy and your overall health.
DiRx is a pharmacy you can trust. Read more about the many ways you can count on us to supply medicine to you and your family.