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How do I Choose the Best Foreign Online Pharmacy?

By Klaus Strasser
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A foreign online pharmacy might be a good opportunity for people to acquire prescription medication at a reduced cost. This could help people with low income or no medical insurance to pay for drugs. However, there also are many potential risks in using a foreign online pharmacy. As prescription drugs sometimes can be extremely dangerous, ordering from a foreign online pharmacy should be something to carefully consider. Some foreign online pharmacies may offer a lesser quality drug, or may not require any prescription to order medication. This potentially could be damaging to your health or even fatal.

For the most part, there are three types of foreign online pharmacy. Traditional online pharmacies operate like a standard pharmacy. They require that you have a prescription from your doctor, which has been written following an in-person examination. Remote consultation online pharmacies generally require that you answer a telephone interview or fill out an online survey to receive your prescription. The third type of online pharmacy requires no prescription whatsoever. These may be a dangerous option to order prescription drugs from, since no medical professional will be involved in making sure that the medication is the correct one for you.

In most cases, traditional online pharmacies can be considered the best choice. Typically, this move is best because your medication has been issued under the authority of your doctor, who usually is familiar with your medical history and has performed an in-person examination. This can help ensure that you are receiving the right medication and have been instructed how to properly take it.

Foreign online pharmacies that require no prescription usually indicates that your health care is not their primary concern. Sometimes, these businesses may be set up with the intent of stealing credit card numbers. There are many consumer watchdog groups that provide lists of rogue foreign online pharmacies. It may be a good idea to consult some of these lists, which usually are available on the Internet. This could help you identify possible shady operations.

Looking at the selection of drugs offered by foreign online pharmacies could help you know if they have the right medication for you. Many foreign online pharmacies offer a wide variety of products. This can include drugs that are commonly used by Americans, such as Vicodin® or Xanax®. Foreign online pharmacies that break down their products into categories, such as weight-loss drugs or pain medication, can give you an idea of some of the different products that are available on the market. You may then want to consult your physician about these different brands, and request an expert opinion.

You may also want to consider choosing a friendly and communicative online foreign pharmacy. A 24-hour telephone hotline should be provided by the company in order to assist you with any potential questions you may have. This could help you acquire information about medications, and about the proper and safe usage of them.

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Discussion Comments
By Ana1234 — On May 17, 2014

@browncoat - I think it's a good thing overall, to be honest. People often pay staggeringly different prices for the same medication depending on what country they live in. If everything was just available over the internet, that would drive down prices overall, as I've noticed its done with prescription glasses.

I'm kind of hoping that this is going to happen with doctors at some point as well.

If you have doctors willing to do a preliminary exam over the internet, with video and sounds and all, then it could bring down the costs of medicine. People would be more willing and able to prevent conditions which would also save money. It just seems like the logical next step to me.

By browncoat — On May 16, 2014

@bythewell - The whole thing seems risky to me, honestly. Even if you manage to find a legitimate pharmacy, it could be illegal to buy some drugs internationally like this. And you could never really trust that you've got the right kind of medication either. Or that the medication isn't past its due date or otherwise contaminated.

I'd rather just make sure I have insurance so that I don't have to worry about access to medication in the first place.

By bythewell — On May 15, 2014

Don't just look at which online pharmacies are listed as scams. Try to find one that has a lot of credible, positive reviews. In particular, look for one that has good reviews from whatever country it is based in, particularly if they are a country with similar laws to the United States. If it is a legitimate Canadian pharmacy then it will probably be safe enough.

Even then, I'd only do this as a last resort. If you have an ongoing condition where you know what medication you need (because you've been diagnosed by a doctor) and simply can't afford the medication, then a foreign online pharmacy could be a lifesaver. But don't guess what you need. And check and double check before taking anything, because you really don't want to end up on the wrong side of a scam.

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