Your Guide to Online Pharmacies

Not all online pharmacies are created equal. Here's how to tell the difference when getting your medications online.

Should I order my medications online?

A few years ago, if you heard someone say they bought their prescriptions from an online pharmacy, you would probably jump to a couple of conclusions:

  1. Must be a Canadian drug shop or...
  2. Must be a Scam with fake drugs.

Listen, your skepticism would have been warranted. For a while, buying prescriptions from internet pharmacies felt like the wild wild west; Load your six shooters, hop on your trusty steed, and hope that the cholesterol medication you bought from is the real thing. According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy ( NABP ) over 90% of internet pharmacy sites out, there are not in compliance with United States pharmacy laws and standards.

So does that mean you shouldn't buy your medication from an online pharmacy now? Absolutely not.

Today you can buy just about anything safely and efficiently online. From cars to houses, to pets, to groceries, and even doctor's visits! Buying meds can be just as straightforward and help save you a bunch of money too!

Following a few best practices and arming yourself with some knowledge, buying from an online pharmacy today is just as safe as buying from any retail pharmacy. Plus you'll probably get better prices and the convenience of home delivery! It's easier than you think.

5 Ways You Can Tell If An Online Pharmacy Is Legitimate ... Or Not.

  1. You can use LegitScript to verify both US and Non-US based online pharmacies.

    LegitScript is an independent verification and monitoring service for online pharmacies. They catalog warnings from over 100 government agencies and are a trusted source when checking the legitimacy of an online pharmacy:
  2. Most legitimate online pharmacies will have a .pharmacy domain.

    The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy created the dot pharmacy (.Pharmacy) domain program in 2015 to ensure the trustworthiness of online pharmacies. Keep in mind that just because a site has .com, doesn't mean they don't have a .pharmacy domain as well. For example, you can get to by also entering You can check a list of safe pharmacies here:
  3. Online discount providers are NOT online pharmacies.

    Prescription savings programs can be a helpful solution to lower your drug prices but keep in mind that they are not actual pharmacies. In most cases, you still have to print out a coupon and use it to buy from a local pharmacy.
  4. You can also use local state board websites to verify a license.

    Still not convinced the online pharmacy is real? Do a little searching to see where they are headquartered, and then use the local state board's website to verify whether a license is in good standing. Here's California's license verification site for example:
  5. US-based online pharmacies sell ONLY FDA-approved medications.

    So if you're considering shopping for your medications online, don't sweat it. Do some checking and you won't ever have to ask, “Are you real?”