While most large pharmacy chains are cautious about following local and national norms with respect to running a medical store, there are a number of smaller independent establishments that become difficult to gauge with respect to authenticity.

While it takes only a little bit of common sense to identify a reliable pharmacy or vendor from the ones that sell fraudulent products, being vigilant in this respect is extremely important.

Remember that there are many pharmacies that:

  • Are not licensed pharmacies.
  • Do not give a correct diagnosis and sell medication that may not be safe for your condition.
  • Do not safeguard your personal information.

In addition to this, many of these pharmacies that sell medicines could be:

  • Fake or counterfeit,
  • Too weak or extremely strong,
  • Containing ingredients that are dangerous,
  • Past their expiry date,
  • Not approved by the FDA,
  • Not manufactured as per the safety standards that pharmaceutical companies are expected to adhere to,
  • Unsafe to be used with other existing medications or products that you use. That is, there are chances of drug interactions,
  • Not following norms with respect to correct labeling, storage and shipping.

Protecting yourself While Purchasing Medicines from an Establishment:

Speaking to the Doctor: Before you visit a pharmacy, it is strongly recommended that you talk with your prescribing doctor. If you are purchasing any new medicine for the first time, make sure you undergo a physical exam that deems you in a position to consume that drug. Avoid using medicines that have not been prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you have checked with your doctor about any special steps that need to be taken while filling your prescription.

Knowing your Source: Make sure the pharmacy that you are buying from is licensed by all the necessary national and state boards. As a buyer, you have the right to ask the pharmacist or approach the state board of pharmacy to enquire whether or not a particular establishment is a licensed pharmacy. Furthermore, you will also be able to acquire a detailed list of the licensed pharmacies that sell medicines in your locality.

A quintessential authentic pharmacy will also have a licensed pharmacist available to answer all your questions. You may also get recommendations from your prescribing doctor. This way you can make sure that your doctor and your pharmacist work together to ensure your medical safety with respect to consumption of drugs. The internet may also act as a good resource to gauge the authenticity of a particular store.

Finally, it is extremely important that you select an establishment that protects your privacy. Make sure you give out personal, demographic and medical information only after you are sure about the security standards of the establishment. Find out if they are using software to maintain to your logs or maintain physical records.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8047265