US COPD Coalition

How to Safely Buy Medicine from an Online Pharmacy


With the high cost of prescription drugs, it can be very tempting to buy your medicine from one of the many discount online pharmacies. But are they safe? According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), while there are many legitimate online pharmacies that offer privacy, convenience and safeguards, “there are many rogue online pharmacies that claim to sell prescription medicines at deeply discounted prices, often without requiring a valid prescription. These Internet-based pharmacies often sell unapproved or counterfeit medicines outside the safeguards followed by licensed pharmacies.”

The FDA offers tips to recognizing rogue pharmacies. Beware of online pharmacies that:

  • Allow you to buy prescription medicine without a valid prescription from your health care provider.
  • Do not have a U.S. state-licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions.
  • Offer very low prices that seem too good to be true.
  • Send spam or unsolicited email offering cheap medicine.
  • Are located outside of the United States or ship worldwide.

The FDA warns that many rogue pharmacies prominently display a Canadian flag on their websites to make you believe that you are purchasing from a legitimate Canadian pharmacy, but “may actually be operated by criminals from the other side of the globe with no connection to Canada.” Medicines purchased from these websites may be very dangerous put you at risk of serious health consequences.

To learn more about buying prescriptions from rogue online pharmacies, click this link:

BeSafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy