Did you know that Americans spend around $329 billion on prescription drugs each year?

Healthcare is a turbulent topic, but most people can agree that some prescription drugs are pricey even with insurance. That can lead people to search for cheaper alternatives.

One of these alternatives is online pharmacies. But are online pharmacies actually legit? And can anyone order from them?

We’re here to fill you in. Keep reading below for five tips to consider when choosing online pharmacies.

Consider Your Situation

Before you start choosing online pharmacies over traditional pharmacies, consider why you want to make the switch.

For example, if you have limited mobility, an online pharmacy may be a perfect choice. You can circumvent a trip to the pharmacy by having your meds delivered right to your doorstep. However, if you live in an area with unreliable postal service, it may not be the best choice.

Ensure They Have Your Exact Prescription

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people mail away for prescriptions and are alarmed when the pills look different from what they’re used to receiving.

Since there are multiple manufacturers making the same types of medications, you could get pills that look different each time you receive your medication. This is because each manufacturer uses different formulas. While the base ingredients are the same, they may use different filler ingredients.

If your body is used to a particular formula, it’s important to make sure the online pharmacy has it available. You can often see which manufacturers a pharmacy works with through their website. If not, reach out to one of their customer service agents to confirm it’s available.

Choosing Online Pharmacies by Location

If you’re considering an online pharmacy, be mindful of the location. It could affect how quickly you get your prescriptions delivered.

International pharmacies are worth considering though. Many Americans order prescriptions from Canada due to lower medication prices. For example, Eliquis available from PricePro online pharmacy is potentially hundreds of dollars cheaper than what you would pay at an American brick and mortar pharmacy.

Confirm that the online pharmacy you choose has a legitimate address. An online pharmacy that uses a P.O. box is likely less than legal.

Price Check Across Websites

The appeal of online pharmacies for many is their lower costs.

Before you choose an online pharmacy, cross-check their prices with other similar online pharmacies for the best price. Just be mindful that extremely low prices could be a sign of a fraudulent pharmacy.

Confirm Legitimacy and Dr. Verification

Last but not least, confirm that the online pharmacy you plan to use is legitimate. There are several websites that can confirm this for you, such as PharmacyChecker. A quick Google search can usually help you weed out the scams and fraudulent sites as well.

It’s also important that the pharmacy requires an actual prescription from your doctor before processing your order. Not requiring a prescription with each order is a big red flag, and you should avoid those pharmacies.

Making Smart Decisions

If you’re sick of expensive co-pays, an online pharmacy could be the solution. Just be sure to do thorough research as you begin choosing online pharmacies. The tips above will help you make an informed choice!

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