Warning Signs

Purchasing drugs from online pharmacies can be convenient and economical. However, there are numerous illegal Web sites that will sell you contaminated or counterfeit drugs, or products that have not been approved by the FDA, deliver the wrong product, or take your money and never deliver anything in return.

The good news is that many Web sites for these fake pharmacies display warning signs. If a Web site exhibits any of the following signs, there is a good chance it is not legitimate and you should not buy your medications from it:

  • No physical address or telephone number is listed on the Web site
  • Does not have a licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions
  • Does not have any way for you to talk to a person if you have problems
  • Does not ask for the name, address, or phone number of your current doctor
  • Does not require that you provide a valid prescription issued by your healthcare practitioner
  • Offers to sell you a prescription or only requires you to fill out a questionnaire to receive a prescription
  • Does not participate in any insurance plans and requires that all payments be made with a credit card
  • Requires that you waive some rights before they send you the drugs
  • Advises you about drug importation laws and why it is permissible for you to obtain prescription drugs from foreign countries via the Internet
  • Encourages you to have the drugs sent to post office boxes or other locations to avoid detection by U.S. authorities

Visit our Tips for Safe Online Buying section to learn how you can safely order prescription drugs over the Internet and www.VIPPS.info to find a list of the safest online pharmacies.