In the United States, millions of Americans remain uninsured, affected by the financial impact of rising medical costs, including the costs of prescription drugs. For many uninsured American consumers, the decision to seek medical attention, sacrificing health, is often debated when faced with potential financial risk. With the age of Internet technology, and online shopping, uninsured Americans are turning to the Web as a cost effective method for obtaining prescription medications when unable to purchase an expensive prescription drug at a local pharmacy.
With the advancement in technology, online pharmacy services are popping up on the Internet daily. Through Web research, uninsured Americans are offered an opportunity to shop for, what appears to be, bargains in the cost of prescription drugs with the simple stroke of a few keys. In the United States, however, this online prescription drug purchase is heavily regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, as an uninsured American, seeking to make a prescription drug purchase online, understanding the FDA requirements will ensure the purchase is made legally and to the degree of efficacy required by the United States government.
Under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines and warnings, there are specific risks that uninsured Americans should be aware of before making an online prescription drug purchase. First, and foremost, the FDA warns there are a significant number of occurrences in which online prescription drug purchases are resulting in the purchase of outdated or fake prescription medications. That is to say, the purchase of prescription drugs online, in some cases, results in the uninsured American consumer obtaining a medication which is not comprised of the required elements approved by the FDA.
In addition to fake or ineffective prescription drugs, some uninsured American consumers, when purchasing medications online, have found the prescription drug arrives with incorrect dosing or even incorrect labeling. As a result, the American consumer may suffer greater health risk following the use of inappropriate medications and, in some cases, could even result in a fatal or life threatening complication.
When purchasing prescription drugs online, the uninsured American consumer should investigate, diligently, the online pharmacy where the prescription drug will be purchased. By visiting the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website, at www.nabp.info, American consumers can obtain the phone number and website of the board of pharmacy for the state in which the consumer lives. Through contact with the consumer’s own state pharmacy board, verification of online pharmacy credibility and effectiveness, in addition to licensure, can be made. This step, alone, may prove beneficial to ensuring online prescription drug purchases are made from pharmacies which are licensed to distribute prescribed medications.
And finally, the FDA advises all American consumers, both insured and uninsured, that all prescription medications, purchased online, must be done with a written prescription from a licensed physician. Because many online pharmacies are located outside of the United States borders, purchasing a prescription drug from an international pharmacy, without a required prescription, may be a violation of United States policies and regulations. Best rule of thumb? When uninsured, seeking cost effective options for prescription drug purchases, buy prescription drugs, online, from reputable, domestically based pharmacies with licensure to dispense prescription drugs within the residential state.
For more information regarding risk and warnings associated with online prescription drug purchases, visit www.fda.gov.