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Can Online Pharmacy Reviews Fight Scam and Fraud?

by Bigmountaindrugs - March 19 , 2020


Photo Credit by: Reid Kevin1686, Flickr.com
Photo Credit by: Reid Kevin1686, Flickr.com

When you decide to venture into the world wide web to look for better prices for your prescription medications, the leap can be a bit daunting. There are plenty of online pharmacy scams and potential fraudulent sites that would love nothing more than to swindle you. While it’s smart to pay attention to online pharmacy reviews to determine whether or not the pharmacy is credible—there’s actually more to it than that. Even reviews can be falsified and if you really want to protect yourself online, we have some tips you’ll want to pay attention to.

Safety Concerns About Pharmacy Reviews

Just because a pharmacy looks credible based on its website or virtual appearance, doesn’t necessarily make it so. It just means they know their way around eCommerce sites or marketing. Because there’s big money in the pharmaceutical industry, it entices many scammers to set up sites that will convince unwitting consumers to buy with them. You do want to exercise caution and apply some reason before simply clicking the purchase button.

One of the best ways to check into the legitimacy of a pharmacy is to scan through their online pharmacy reviews. In many ways, reviews can act like the gatekeeper – alerting you when you’re approaching something dangerous. Honest, unbiased reviews are a great way to flag others – and an important part of the vetting process, when buying your prescription online.

Types of Reviews to Trust

Consumer ratings can be a powerful tool in knowing whether or not an online pharmacy is legit. Shopper’s approval in the form of reviews can come from many places, however. So how do you know which ones you can trust? Here are some of the most trusted sites to check over for pharmacy or product reviews.

Pharmacy Reviews

If you’re looking specifically for pharmacy reviews, details on medications, and more, the following are the review sites you’ll want to take note of and check in with.

• PharmacyChecker.com (International)

• edrugsearch (Canadian)

• NABP/VIPPS

• FDA (US)

• verifybeforeyoubuy.org (Powered by LegitScript) – This site is run by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and is supported by the MedicineSafe Coalition, which includes a number of advocacy groups, nonprofit, and government ages. One downside to this site is it does consider all Canadian Online Pharmacies to by rogue sites, regardless of whether or not they are in compliance with their governing agencies.

Third Party Review Tool

There are a number of third-party review tools out there to help verify if reviews are authentic. There are 2 levels of reviews managed by these types of sites: Merchant/Business Reviews and Product Reviews.

Shoppers Approved

Trust Pilot

Reseller Ratings

Search Engine Reviews

Consumers will leave their ratings on sites they think others will see and where it will make an impact. This includes big search engines. If you want to know if you’re looking at a reputable site or an online pharmacy scam, check out their reviews on the following search engine sites:

• Google My Business Reviews

• Bing Reviews

• Facebook Reviews

Business Portal Reviews

Almost everyone at some point has come across or even left reviews on business portal sites. These are sites that are already top of mind for consumers looking to verify the legitimacy of a business or product. Depending on the site, you can sniff out rogue online pharmacies simply by checking reviews at the following websites:

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

• yelp.ca

• consumerreports.org

• consumeraffairs.com

NHS (UK)

Do Reviews Mean Everything?

While reviews are a great place to start, it’s important to remember the safety rules for buying meds online. Whether you’re getting your prescription from a pharmacy in your own country, or going outside to another country, like Canada, you’ll want to make sure your pharmacy has these:

Licensed – Does the pharmacy say on the homepage where they are licensed with? If they list the licensing agency, do they list contact details? If so, check with them to make sure the details are accurate.

Certifications – Do they have any certification available that can be verified by a third party? For example, reputable Canadian Pharmacies will be certified by one or all of the following sites. Each can be verified by clicking on the certification logo on a pharmacy’s homepage, or independently by going to the source site and searching for the pharmacy’s name.

o CIPA (Canadian International Pharmacy Association)

o PharmacyChecker.com

o IPABC (International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia)

Requires prescription – Any reputable online pharmacy will always require verification of a doctor’s prescription for a prescription medication. No exceptions. If you find a site willing to fill your medication without one, it should ring the alarm bells.

Secure cart – If an online pharmacy can be trusted, they will have their safe-cart credentials listed right on the homepage next to their other credentials. You’ll want to look for a GeoTrust badge, a SecurityMetrics badge, or a Norton badge that is linked to their 3rd party security check with verification the site is secure. Make sure their validity period is still good.

Physical address and phone number – When you look at their site, do they offer a telephone number you can call and/or a physical address for where they are located?

Pharmacist available for consultation – Does the online pharmacy provide details to talk to a licensed pharmacist if you need consultation about your medication? If not, it’s best to look elsewhere. A reputable online pharmacy will have a pharmacist on-hand during normal business hours.

Safety Beyond Price

Ultimately, safety should take precedence over price—no matter how good of a deal you think you’re getting. If you believe a price is “too good to be true” – it probably is. Online pharmacy fraud is a real thing, and it can mean at best—being scammed out of money. And at worst, consuming medications that are potentially dangerous. There is no price so low that it’s worth risking your health, and possibly your life.

While we might not be able to stop online pharmacy fraud, paying attention to reviews are an important step toward picking a pharmacy you can trust. Remember to check out as many review sites as possible to see what the consensus is any time you consider switching pharmacies. Look for credentials like licenses, certifications, and whether or not they require prescriptions. Before hitting the purchase button, double check their cart and site safety credentials, as well. It’s always better to proceed with caution, than to barrel ahead unprepared.

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DISCLAIMER

While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, not even for pets, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.
Prescriptions Dispensed from Canada are Dispensed by: Candrug Pharmacy, ID#18985 604-543-8711. Pharmacy Manager: Sanaa Abdelati. This pharmacy is duly licensed in the province of British Columbia, Canada by the College of Pharmacists of BC. If you have any questions or concerns you can contact the college at: 200-1765 West 8th Ave Vancouver, BC V6J 5C6 Canada.
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