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What should I know before buying medical products online?


Although some online pharmacies are legitimate businesses, patients must be cautious when purchasing drugs over the Internet. Patients should not buy drugs from web sites that: are not registered on a search engine; offer to prescribe a prescription drug without a physical exam; sell drugs not approved by the HHS Food and Drug Administration (FDA); do not offer the opportunity to ask questions of a registered pharmacist; require that you link to another web site to purchase the drug; and do not provide a U.S. phone number and address to contact for questions.

Before buying a prescription drug over the Internet, patients should check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to see if the online pharmacy possesses a valid pharmacy license and has met state practice standards. Patients who believe that a web site is unlawfully selling a drug should report it to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy or to the FDA.

For more information on buying medical products online, see the Agency's "Buying Medicines and Medical Products Online" Web page:




Last Updated: 04/23/2008