The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) new report, Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators, included a concerning portrait of how rogue online pharmacies are exacerbating the opioid crisis. Previously, the NABP found that only 13% of the online pharmacies they reviewed and listed as “Not Recommended” sold controlled substances. Nine years later, that percentage has jumped up to 54%.

Other shocking statistics include only 2% requiring a valid prescription and 76% of sites selling foreign, non FDA-approved drugs. However, you can save money by purchasing your prescriptions online, you just have to be smart about it. Here are the best tips from both NABP and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so you can safely reduce your prescription costs in 2018:

Know the signs of a rogue online pharmacy. This includes things like:

  • Not requiring a prescription
  • Prices that seem too good to be true
  • Offers received from unsolicited emails
  • Pharmacies located outside the U.S.

Know the signs of a legitimate online pharmacy. This includes things like:

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can save money by purchasing your prescription drugs online, but if you don’t do it smartly, any savings you receive come at the potential cost of your health or your life.