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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Buying Medicine Over the Internet

Proceed with caution when purchasing from online pharmacies.

Check the validity of the pharmacy Web site. Legitimate drug-dispensing Web sites are certified through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's (NABP) Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program. To be VIPPS certified, pharmacies must comply with the licensing and inspection requirements of their state and each state to which they dispense pharmaceuticals. Additionally, pharmacies displaying the VIPPS seal comply with NABP criteria related to privacy, security, drug authenticity, quality assurance, and customer consultations. You can get a list of VIPPS-approved pharmacies by going to or by calling 847-698-6227.

Beware of purchasing drugs that aren't normally available in the U.S. You may wind up with counterfeit medications that can make you sick, or "sugar pills" that will do nothing for your condition.

Do not order a prescription through any site that just has you fill out a questionnaire or form, rather than seeing or talking to a doctor or pharmacist.

Only do business with sites that provide direct access to a registered pharmacist. Use this pharmacist for the same kind of information you would get from a pharmacist in a retail store
The Internet has been a boon for prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. But since it's hard to know exactly whom or what you're dealing with in cyberspace, you need to take some special precautions.

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