As we roll into 2010, LegitScript wants to encourage Internet users to report Internet pharmacies to us that have engaged in illegal, fraudulent or sketchy behavior. In addition to the list of legitimate online pharmacies that we have verified meet our standards for legality, safety and transparency, we identify and monitor online pharmacies that violate the law and potentially harm Internet users.
If you’ve been harmed or defrauded by an Internet pharmacy, to the extent that you feel comfortable sharing that information with us, it can help make sure that other Internet users do not go through the same experience. In some cases, we can even get the websites engaged in that behavior shut down.
What are some ways that “rogue” Internet pharmacies may deceive or harm Internet users? There are several:
- The website sells you drugs that look suspicious or have no effect.
- The drugs are imported from outside of the US directly to you. This includes situations where the drug claims to be licensed in the US (or even Canada) but the drugs have packaging or labeling that indicates the true origin is elsewhere.
- The website sells drugs without requiring a prescription, or sells you prescription drugs simply based upon an online form. (This may seem like a convenience, but is potentially dangerous, since prescription drugs, by definition, require medical supervision and thus generally require an in-person medical exam at some point.)
- The website sells you generic versions of a drug when you thought you ordered a brand-name version. (This is particularly important in cases where there is no approved generic version of the drug, for example, with drugs like Cialis, Viagra, or Propecia).
- The website sends you email after email after you place an order, trying to sell you other drugs.
- Similarly, the website or its representatives call you after you place an order, not for a legitimate medical reason, but to try to get you to buy other drugs.
- The website requires you to pay a monthly “membership fee” in order to fill a prescription. (Note: This may not be illegal, but sometimes indicates deceptive or fraudulent activity.)
- You received a “spam email” that directed you to the website.
- You were charged for something you never ordered.
- Most obviously, if you ingested or otherwise used the prescription drug and had some sort of adverse reaction to it. (We recognize that this may or may not be attributable to the prescription drug, but depending upon the facts, could indicate counterfeit drugs.)
There are several other ways that shady or “rogue” online pharmacies can potentially hurt or defraud Internet users. LegitScript is here to help, and if you are comfortable sharing your experience with us, we’d love to hear about it…and hopefully prevent other Internet users from having the same experience.