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As we approach the end of the year, people seeking to empty their flexible spending accounts or avoid new prescription deductibles in the new year will order prescriptions and other medical supplies online.But the convenience of purchasing online shouldn’t prevent you from ensuring that your medicine comes from safe sources.

All online pharmacies are not created equal. This year, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy surveyed 10,400 online pharmacies and found that only 3% of them complied with U.S. pharmacy laws. Sellers among the other 97% sold foreign or non-FDA approved drugs, filled orders without prescriptions, had no address in the United States or dispensed controlled substances. Some of that 97% are selling drugs that are contaminated, the wrong strength, missing key ingredients, improperly labeled, damaged through poor handling or expired. Only pharmacies that are licensed in your state can ensure that your purchases are legitimate and safe.

By S. Imber