As Americans look for ways to save money on prescription drugs, a recent survey of 12,000 online pharmacies found that 95 percent of them posed safety concerns to customers, including selling knock-off versions of real medications, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports.
Here are tips from the department to help you stay safe if you buy medications online:
- Use only legitimate websites.
Check out safe.pharmacy to verify whether a site is safe or not recommended.
- Have a prescription.
Legitimate pharmacies always require a prescription from a health-care provider.
- Know the red flags.
Avoid websites that: allow consumers to buy prescriptions by simply completing an online questionnaire; offer drastically discounted prices; offer drugs that make exaggerated claims of providing cures for chronic or life-threatening illnesses; or offer to ship prescriptions from other countries to the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration offers additional resources at BeSafeRx at fda.gov. Visit fraud.org if you encounter a medication that you suspect to be a fake.