Online Pharmacies: What You Need to Know

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Safe Online Pharmacies — PharmacyChecker Verification Program

To help you find licensed and safe pharmacies on the Internet, we operate the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. Only pharmacies and companies meeting high standards of practice are eligible for membership in our program, and apply to the program under the following membership types:

  • Pharmacy (retail, wholesale, and veterinary), and
  • Online pharmacy (websites that market and sell prescription drugs dispensed by pharmacies)

Pharmacy members are licensed, physical pharmacies that fill prescription orders. They include walk-in pharmacies and mail-order only pharmacies; pharmacies that fill orders internationally and others only within their own countries. Some pharmacy members operate their own websites, while others fill orders for other online pharmacies.

Online pharmacy members are defined as websites that market and sell prescription medications. An online pharmacy may or may not own a brick-and-mortar pharmacy, but must refer orders to one or more pharmacies that are also approved pharmacy members of Many verification program members provide you the option to have your prescription filled by their own pharmacy as well as licensed pharmacies in different countries so that you can take advantage of lower international prices.

Pharmacy and online pharmacy applicants must meet critical safety qualifications to be eligible for and approved in the PharmacyChecker Verification Program and to publish the seal on their websites. verifies the following qualifications to determine membership eligibility:

  • Pharmacy license with applicable pharmacy board or licensing authority
  • DEA-issued license for controlled substances for U.S. pharmacies only; non U.S. pharmacies are not permitted to ship controlled substances into the U.S.
  • Prescription is required based on an in-person examination, except where prescriptions based on remote consultations are expressly permitted by law.
  • Privacy policy that affirms a consumer's information will not be shared with third parties
  • Financial and personal information are secure: encryption required on web pages where financial and personal information is transmitted
  • Contact information: verified mailing address and phone number published on website

In addition, to ensure compliance with the Verification Program prescription requirements, conducts periodic "mystery shopping,"" by posing as a consumer attempting to purchase medication without a prescription. employs experts in pharmacy safety to inspect pharmacies in countries with strong pharmacy regulations but less enforcement to be sure that they adhere to high standards of practice.

If you’re interested in learning more about our verification program,, additional information is available on our Verification Program page.

The Seal

Online pharmacy members of the PharmacyChecker Verification Program — ones that meet the safety requirements identified above — can display a ""Valid Member"" seal. Look for this seal before ordering medication online, especially if the company is not generally well known or from a different country. Rogue online pharmacies publish fake seals so you must confirm the validity of a seal. In order to verify the seal is valid, make sure you click on the "Valid Member" seal. You will then be taken to a profile of the pharmacy that is hosted on

Click on the seal below to see how this works.