LegitScript Standard #8 is a good example of how we hold pharmacy websites to the same standards as brick-and-mortar pharmacies. This standard has to do with pharmacy website transparency regarding their location and contact information.
Standard 8: Patient services. The pharmacy must provide on the website an accurate US street address of the dispensing pharmacy or corporate headquarters. The pharmacy must provide on the website an accurate, readily accessible and responsive phone number or secure mechanism via the website, allowing patients to contact or consult with a pharmacist regarding complaints or concerns or in the event of a possible adverse event involving their medication.
Why is this important? LegitScript believes that any legitimate pharmacy website should have no problem listing its address and contact information. Just as you would expect any legitimate business to prominently list its location and contact information on their website, the same goes for pharmacy websites. Consumers have a right to know where their order is coming from, as well as how they can get in touch with the pharmacy in case of any questions or problems.
By providing a valid street address along with a phone number and/or email address, a pharmacy website gives consumers confidence that they are ordering from a real pharmacy, located in the US that they can get in touch with in case anything goes wrong. While pharmacy websites are meant to make it easier to fill prescriptions, legitimate pharmacy websites also maintain the same level of professionalism that would be expected of a local pharmacy. In fact, many pharmacy websites are simply the online presence for local pharmacies, giving their customers the option to order prescriptions online with the same customer services provided by walking into the local pharmacy.
Is there ever a reason a pharmacy website would not post its contact information? Yes: they have something to hide. Many rogue Internet pharmacies provide either fake contact information or no contact information at all. As we’ve mentioned before, these operations are interested solely in your money, not your health. If there is a problem with your order (and with rogue Internet pharmacies, there’s a good chance there will be) you have no way of getting in touch with them after the fact.
When it comes to prescription medication, there is always a chance that you could have a reaction to, or simply a question about, a drug. That’s where the ability to have a pharmacist consultation becomes important. Legitimate pharmacies offer pharmacist consultations at no charge so that patients can be sure to get their questions answered about any medication they’ve been prescribed. Of course, it’s impossible to have a pharmacist consultation if the pharmacy doesn’t even list its contact information!
Pharmacist consultations are a valuable tool and are not to be confused with the doctor consultations offered by rogue Internet pharmacies which, by contrast, are typically for a fee and serve to provide a false veneer of legitimacy. LegitScript makes sure that all of our approved pharmacy websites have valid contact information in case you should need to get in touch with the pharmacy staff about an order.