Pharma Shopping – How to Find Legitimate Pharmacies

Whether you shop online for prescription drugs or just want to save on your meds, pharmacies have become a major source of savings. Consumers can shop for medications at a local pharmacy, chain or mail-order operation, at an online retailer such as Amazon or through their health insurance company’s preferred drug network. While many of these businesses are legitimate and provide a convenient service, others are not. Some may sell unapproved products or sidestep established procedures meant to protect consumers. The result is an increasingly complex web of pharmacies, and it’s hard to tell who you can trust.

The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, with state medical and pharmacy boards overseeing the practice of medicine, and the FDA ensuring that drug products are safe and effective. But that doesn’t stop people from buying their meds on the Internet, where hundreds of drug-dispensing websites compete to offer consumers deep discounts and convenience. Consumers need to be aware that some of these sites are rogue, selling unapproved medicines or circumventing established procedures meant to ensure patient safety and proper prescribing.

In a business-to-business (B2B) context, pharmaceutical e-commerce can enable wholesalers and pharmacy benefit managers to streamline ordering, delivery and invoicing with their suppliers and customers. They can also reduce operating costs and enhance customer service. Consumers can also save by using a drug-discount card. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer these cards, which can often cut your cost by 85% or more. You can find them by searching for the name of a medication and “savings program” on the manufacturer’s website or by doing an online search.

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