Technology is impacting our lives in many ways, and that includes medical care. Yet, while many online pharmacies claim that they can fill and deliver your prescriptions right to you, the federal government requires steps and conditions that must be satisfied by both the patient and the pharmacy to meet federal requirements.
That’s why it’s always best to visit a local pharmacy in person. If you work with a local doctor, they will often recommend a long-term care pharmacy (ltc pharmacy) that they have a partnership with. Most of the time, these are local.
Online pharmacies may say that they have an online doctor, however, many prescriptions require an in-person physical. An online questionnaire won’t fulfill the requirement that all pharmacies must provide proof that the purchaser has a relationship with the doctor, a requirement that can be met by a doctor’s signature on your prescription.
On the other hand, board-certified doctors who practice telemedicine, and who often times are accredited by a state governing body, can make a diagnosis.
They often communicate with patients via smartphone or laptop and can prescribe some medications, for example, medicines for high blood pressure, antifungals, a cholesterol-lowering medication, oral contraceptive, and antibiotics.
Suggestions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that while there are many legally operating pharmacy websites that can offer convenience and safeguards for your purchase, it is critical to be on the lookout for the many outlaw online pharmacies that offer prescription medicines at steeply discounted prices, often without requiring a valid prescription.
One issue is that internet-based pharmacies often sell unapproved or counterfeit medicines outside of the safeguards employed by licensed pharmacies.
This can be dangerous because the medication may have too little, too much, or even lack the active ingredient necessary to treat your condition, or the drug may contain harmful ingredients.
The FDA suggests identifying a safe online pharmacy by their requirement of a valid prescription from a doctor or other licensed health care professional, and that they are licensed by your state board of pharmacy or an equivalent state agency.