The US FDA has laws in place to ensure that online pharmacies operate in a legal manner. Those found violating these rules are usually sent warning letters and forced to shut down. The many rules in place are so that consumers can purchase medications in a legal manner avoid unnecessary complications like receiving counterfeit drugs, getting personal information stolen, or paying more than required. These laws also protect the drug companies in the US so that US-based internet pharmacies supply only those drugs that are FDA-approved.
The rules that show an online pharmacy is safe and legal to use is when:
- A valid prescription is required in order to fill out the order
- There is a physical address and contact information available showing that the online drugstore is US-based
- There is a license to show that it can operate within that particular state
- An additional license that it is authorized to supply medications to persons from other states within the US
- Has a licensed pharmacist or doctor available online to address any consumer queries and ensure that the prescription is filled right
While these are the basic laws regarding operating an internet pharmacy in the US, there is much more to the business of supplying medications over the internet. More information on this is given below.
What buyers should know about using online pharmacies?
For starters, buyers should understand that it is legal to order medications from an online drugstore that is based in the US and with a valid prescription. Ordering prescription medications from an overseas place is generally not encouraged as the FDA regards these places as rogue internet pharmacies. However, using an international internet pharmacy helps to cut down drug costs significantly and the FDA does not really stop the import of medications for personal use. The packages that usually get held with customs are those that violate the guidelines in many ways. If you have a valid prescription for the medication and if the drug is for a serious medication condition for which the treatment is not available in the US, then the package can be contested and retrieved.
Purchasing prescription medications without having a script for the drug is regarded as against the law. Moreover, the FDA does not accept remote consultations as valid. This policy is different from one state to another and it is recommended to check what the laws are before placing any orders online.
The FDA does not allow for the import of unapproved drugs. However, these may have been approved in the country from which it is being imported. This is problematic in a way as a drug containing the same active ingredient but a different packaging label is considered as unapproved. A number of medications available in Canada are cheap and have different product labels, but they are still authentic and very effective like the US brand.
If you wish to avoid any legal hassles, always check the state laws regarding online pharmacies and also the FDA’s.