Can You Order From an Online Pharmacy Without a Prescription?

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Many are turning to online pharmacies nowadays to purchase medication.

With the pandemic continuing to force restrictions on us, it’s a service proving efficient and convenient for many who need over-the-counter AND prescription drugs.

But many online customers aren’t aware of the rules regarding prescribed drugs.

Can you use an online pharmacy without a prescription?

Online Pharmacies Explained

The purpose of an online pharmacy is so that those in need of certain medications are able to obtain them via the web. This means trips to CVS aren’t necessarily required.

Medicines can be delivered right to the doorsteps of those less able to get out. It’s also a great perk for those who can’t find the time to go to the drugstore in person.

Online pharmacies can be based anywhere globally. They are different to mail-order pharmacies as they don’t always work with insurance providers. This means that some may not be regulated by US laws. This runs the risk of providing unsafe or incorrect medication to those who need it.

Often these sites draw in punters with offers of heavily discounted medication. You cannot be sure this medication is 100% legitimate, and this can be dangerous.

In contrast, mail-order pharmacies are subject to strict laws, regulations, protocols, and health and safety checks.

Those without health insurance often turn to online pharmacies. Some are legitimate, but you should never trust an online pharmacy that isn’t Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (VIPPS) accredited. Running FDA checks or looking on PharmacyChecker is also an effective way to be sure of an online pharmacy store’s legitimacy.

NABP is a nonprofit and supplies other sites with an accreditation program. The VIPPS program, for example, looks into an online pharmacy’s prescription-filling methods, as well as how it might handle data protection. It will also assess how a company communicates with customers.

Prescriptions Online

Non-legitimate online pharmacies can make it easier for you to have access to drugs without a prescription, and without the approval of a doctor.

It’s true that the FDA regulates prescription drugs in the US, but online pharmacies ship from all over the world. This means imported products are not FDA-approved.

Be wary of companies that offer prescription drugs without a prescription. This is likely not above board. Similarly, if they offer a service in which a doctor can write the prescription for you, without seeing you first, this is another major issue.

Get Your Doctor’s Permission

Can you order from an online pharmacy without a prescription? The most succinct answer is that you most certainly shouldn’t do so.

Most online pharmacies will ask you for your prescription details. You should have these from your doctor. If you have not been prescribed something, you should not be purchasing it – online or otherwise. 

Your doctor should either be contacting the distributor with the prescription or the site you are buying from should be in touch with them themselves. 

As reported in 2018, the FDA was looking into ways to empower consumers by advancing access to drugs otherwise available only by prescription.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said at the time: “[The FDA’s] hope is that the steps we’re taking to advance this new, more modern framework will contribute to lower costs for our health care system overall and provide greater efficiency and empowerment for consumers by increasing the availability of certain products that would otherwise be available only by prescription.”

The Basic Rules to Online Prescriptions

Those seeking a doctor to prescribe medication online will need to take the following into account.

  • Has the doctor got a treatment relationship with you already?
  • Does the doctor know and have access to your medication history?
  • Does the doctor have access to your medical records and are all the records he/she has access to up to date?

Unless a doctor meets all of the above stipulations, they should not be diagnosing you or prescribing you medication. It is, frankly, illegal, and it is highly dangerous to take the medical advice of anyone claiming to be legitimate when they do not meet these criteria.

As well as this, always be wary of online doctors or pharmacies who try and diagnose you based solely on medical questionnaires.

Are Some Prescriptions Exempt From Online Order?

Most medications can be mailed but the likes of controlled substances that need to be transported under special instructions may not be feasible for mail-order services. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) monitors the making, importation, and distribution of Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V drugs.

This does not mean all drugs of this nature are exempt from mail-order. It simply means these packages are subject to extra labeling and checks ahead of transit. They will often be tracked and require a signature upon delivery.

It is often the case, with these drug types, that postal costs are higher, given the level of security and care involved.

Using an Online Pharmacy Without a Prescription

We hope this information on using an online pharmacy without a prescription has been helpful.

Kiwi Drug is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand and the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, as well as other compulsory regulators. We have also passed all the requirements of the Medicines Control authority.

Kiwi provides consumers with the best health products globally, at the best prices. The medication we administer is of the highest quality. And thanks to the value of the New Zealand dollar, we are at the top of our game.

If you have any inquiries, be sure to reach out to us via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further. 

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