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Online Prescription Drugs

While surfing the Internet, you come across a website offering a prescription medicine that you want to try. Buying the medicine online is convenient and would save the cost of a doctor’s visit, but you wonder if it is safe.
 
Here are some tips to consider before buying medicine online:

  • If the website offers to prescribe the medicine for the first time without a medical examination, don’t buy from the site. Filling out a questionnaire is not the same as a medical exam. A questionnaire cannot provide enough information to know if a drug is safe and appropriate for you to use.

  • Always talk with your health care provider before you use any prescription medication for the first time.

  • Don’t buy from a website that offers to sell you a prescription medicine without a prescription. Not only is this illegal but it also puts your health at risk. Obtaining an illegal prescription from an unknown source could cause you to get the wrong medicine, a counterfeit medicine, a contaminated medicine or the wrong dose.

  • Don't buy from a website that doesn't list their physical location and phone number, doesn't have a licensed pharmacist to answer questions, or isn't licensed by their state Board of Pharmacy.

  • Don’t buy from a foreign website. It’s generally illegal to import the drugs offered by these websites. The health risks are also greater and there is very little that U.S. officials can do if you have problems with a foreign website.

  • The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, through its Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program, certifies online pharmacies that meet its rigorous standards. You can determine whether an online pharmacy is certified by checking their website or by  calling (847) 391-4406.
 
We Can Help
 
If you have a complaint about online prescription drugs, contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
 
The North Carolina Board of Pharmacy lists out-of-state pharmacies that are licensed to dispense prescriptions by mail to North Carolina residents.