There is a lot of talk about online prescription medications these days. In addition, the amount of misinformation on the topic seems to be growing. For example, did you know that there are multiple ways to obtain your prescription medications online? Did you also know that not all of your online options are guaranteed to be legit?
Buying legitimate prescription medications online really boils down to three options: getting an e-prescription, submitting a conventional prescription to an online pharmacy based in the U.S., or submitting your prescription to a Canadian online pharmacy.
Canadian Online Pharmacies
Getting prescription medications online from a Canadian pharmacy is the place to start, given that this option is the most controversial here in the U.S. Ordering Canadian drugs is possible thanks to a combination of selective enforcement at the federal level and online properties like Canada Pharmacy.
It is technically illegal for any U.S. citizen to import prescription medications from another country. However, much as the federal government has decided to not enforce federal laws against medical cannabis distribution and possession, they do not enforce laws against prescription medication imports as long as the drugs being imported are fairly common, come from legitimate Canadian pharmacies, and are already approved by the FDA.
Cialis and Viagra are two good examples. Both have FDA approval and are considered largely harmless if taken appropriately. Washington looks the other way at Canada Pharmacy selling the two drugs to U.S. customers.
U.S. Online Pharmacies
The U.S. has its domestic counterparts to Canadian online pharmacies. Most are online properties owned and operated by physical pharmacies or drug manufacturers themselves. You place an order by submitting your prescription, paying the fee, and waiting for the medication to be delivered to your door.
Note that even U.S. online pharmacies are not allowed to ship certain controlled substances. For example, your doctor may have prescribed an opioid painkiller following surgery. You will not be able to get that medication online. Opioids cannot be shipped through the mail. The only way to have your prescription filled is to go to your local drug store or supermarket pharmacy.
Getting an E-Prescription
The final option really caught on during COVID lockdowns. You can get what is known as an e-prescription by first visiting online with a telehealth professional. You will be video chatting with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. All three have prescription writing authority for the most part.
This option is a little bit different in that you cannot just order. You have to get a new prescription first. But for routine primary care and prescription refills, it is no big deal. You set up a video chat appointment, answer a few pre-appointment questions, and then visit with the doctor, PA, or NP. Answer a few more questions during the visit and you are all set.
Your healthcare provider then sends an e-prescription to your pharmacy. You go pick it up just as you would if you had visited your doctor in their office. You may discover that your e-prescription platform works with online pharmacies. In such a case, the e-prescription would go direct to the online pharmacy where it would be filled and shipped to your home.
Whether you order prescription medications from a Canadian pharmacy, get them from an online operation based in the U.S., or opt for the e-prescription model, you now have options for getting your prescription drugs online. Going to see your doctor at their office is not always necessary anymore. Isn’t it great what the internet allows us to do these days?