Online Pharmacies: What You Need to Know

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Safe Online Pharmacies — PharmacyChecker Verification Program


To ensure consumers shop at safe, licensed pharmacies on the Internet, we operate the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. Only pharmacies meeting high standards of practice are eligible for membership in our program and may 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, brick-and-mortar pharmacies that fill prescription orders. Pharmacy members include walk-in pharmacies; 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 member 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 in the PharmacyChecker Verification Program. Many verification program members provide consumers with the option to have a prescription filled by their own pharmacy as well as licensed pharmacies in different countries so that patients 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 publish the PharmacyChecker.com Seal on their websites. PharmacyChecker.com verifies the following qualifications to determine membership eligibility:


  • Prescription orders dispensed by licensed pharmacies verified by PharmacyChecker
  • Requires valid prescription
  • Meets website security requirements
  • Publishes customer privacy policy on website
  • Publishes contact information on website for customer service
  • Pharmacist consultation offered to consumers
  • Quantities marketed on website restricted to a maximum of 3 months' supply at a time
  • Disclosure of pharmacy location to consumer prior to purchase

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


Additional information is available on our PharmacyChecker Verification Program page.




The PharmacyChecker.com Seal


Online pharmacy members of the PharmacyChecker Verification Program are permitted display the PharmacyChecker.com Seal on their website. Look for this seal before ordering medication online, especially if the company is not generally well known or from a different country. To verify the validity of the seal displayed, just click it. When clicked, a valid seal will direct online shoppers to a profile of the online pharmacy member that is hosted on PharmacyChecker.com. Rogue online pharmacies publish fake PharmacyChecker.com seals so it’s important to confirm the validity of a seal.


Click on the seal below to see how this works.