We are constantly in search of all things “best” and “cheapest”, even for our medications. Due to the increasing cost of the medications for various clinical concerns, we are also now searching for the cheapest pharmacy we could find—pharmacies which can supply us with quality medications but at affordable prices.
But does the cheapest pharmacy even exist? Can we find the cheapest pharmacy at our local drugstores, or should we search someplace else? Brick and mortar pharmacies at our localities often sport the highest prices for hard-to-find prescriptions, so consumers venture into purchasing their meds from cheaper online pharmacies readily available on the web.
Cheapest Pharmacy: What are Online Pharmacies?
Now that we’re in the internet age, almost everything is marketed and sold online, even prescriptions. Although the “online pharmacy” business has already existed even before the millennial population was born, it is only during this time and age that the internet pharmacy business has flourished.
What are online pharmacies, you ask? Online drugstores are oftentimes third-party service providers which gather and process orders. Nearly all online pharmacies are not actual pharmacies—they do not stock products and ship them to their consumers—they merely forward the client orders to various ground suppliers they are currently linked to.
Some online pharmacies overtly disclose that they are merely escrow service providers and even state which pharmacies and suppliers are they affiliated with. However, some online drugstores try their best to conceal their identities as internet resellers of certain warehouses or drug suppliers.
Oftentimes, online pharmacies are indeed capable of offering huge discounts to their clients—however, the problem is that many good online drugstores are overshadowed by the scamming practices of nefarious website operators. We will be discussing the risks of purchasing from online pharmacies in the next sections.
Cheapest Pharmacy: Are Online Pharmacies Legal?
Concerning legalities, most online drugstores claim that they are 100% legitimately operating. However, only a few of them are capable of offering proofs to their legitimacy as online operators, whilst some, on the other hand, intentionally post fraudulent accreditations and certifications on their domains.
There are legitimately operating drugstores on the web and they are the ones with verifiable approvals from online pharmacy approvals from organizations such as CIPA Rx, MIPA, CPA, Pharmacy Checker, Health Pricer, and various others, and also those which are not included on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s list of not recommended websites.
What then, should you look for in legit mail-order pharmacies? Here are some tips you could use:
- Legitimate online pharmacies ask for prescriptions for Rx products.
- Consumers in the United States should look for a VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) seal from the NABP—or look for stores which are not included in NABP’s list of not recommended sites.
- You can use Legit Script and other domain-assessing platforms to verify if a website or a mail-order/online pharmacy is truly legitimate and safe to shop from.
- Valid online pharmacies should be licensed in the country they are operating from and also in the countries they ship to.
- Only approved and verified drugs are sold by legitimate mail-order pharmacies.
- You should look for licensed pharmacists to assist you when purchasing from legitimate online drugstores.
If you think the “cheapest pharmacy” you’re eyeing does not fall into these criteria, it’s time to expand your search and look for other online pharmacies to shop from.
Cheapest Pharmacy: Are Online Pharmacies more Advantageous to Use than Ground Drugstores?
There are some positive points to using online pharmacies. Here are some of the good things about shopping your meds on mail-order drugstores:
- Price – Most online drugstores are capable of offering the cheapest prices for the meds you need. Since the online pharmacies source their products overseas, you can have access to cheaper medications online.
- Accessibility – You can shop conveniently at online drugstores without having to queue—you can even order your meds at the privacy of your own homes. There’s no need for trips to the grocery or the neighborhood pharmacies—you can save gas and effort when choosing online shops.
- Privacy – Some patients prefer shopping at online drugstores especially for treatments for their embarrassing medical conditions. Licensed pharmacists are still able to assist patients shopping at online drugstores—the only difference is that there is no face-to-face contact with patients and the service providers.
Cheapest Pharmacy: Are there Disadvantages to Using Online Pharmacies?
Although there are pluses when it comes to using online drugstores, especially because most online shops offer the cheapest prices for prescription medications, there are also several things to consider before shopping your meds at mail-order pharmacies. Here are some disadvantages which you may want to think about before purchasing from cheapest pharmacy stores on the web:
- Long waiting period – The lengthy waiting period, especially for meds coming from locations overseas (takes more or less a month) can be frustrating, especially when you need your meds urgently.
- Shaky product quality – Since you can’t see the products that will be shipped to your address, you can’t be entirely sure of the products you will be sent. Worst case scenarios include you being sent with the wrong products or fake medications.
- High scam rate – if you are not careful, you are at risk of being scammed by nefarious web operators. Make sure to purchase your meds from reliable sources so you can get more value from your money and keep your personal information safe when ordering online.
The cheapest pharmacy search is not nearly over—there are a great amount of ground and online stores to choose from for affordably priced medications. Although we can’t recommend the cheapest pharmacy yet, we can only encourage you to stick to the guidelines used by legitimate online drugstores to ensure good deals without compromising on a website’s credibility and the shops’ product quality.
In your quest for the cheapest pharmacy, do your research and don’t be fooled by too-good-to-be-true deals which may only be traps for unsuspecting clients. Always consider a shop’s credibility first before shopping your meds there, so that you can be sure that your well-earned money will also be well-spent.