(a) No controlled substance that is a prescription drug may be delivered, distributed, or dispensed by means of the Internet without a valid prescription. (b) In accordance with the Act, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally fill a prescription for a controlled substance that was issued in a manner that constitutes dispensing by means of the Internet unless such person is a pharmacist who is acting in the usual course of his professional practice and is acting on behalf of a pharmacy whose registration has been modified under sections 1301..19 of this chapter to authorize it to operate as an online pharmacy. (c) Any online pharmacy that participates in the transfer between pharmacies of prescription information must do so in accordance with the requirements of §§1306..25 of this part. You can save time and money when you buy medicine online or through a mail-order pharmacy. For example, if you normally pay $100 for your medicine and you can get it for $5, be careful. Follow these steps to make sure you're getting a good deal. An extremely low price can be a sign that there's something fishy going on. "If it's too good to be true, it probably is," says Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). It stands for "Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites." If it's there, it means the site was screened and approved by the NABP. Only outfits that follow the law can use that domain. You'll get to know your pharmacist, and it'll be easier to spot problems, like drugs you can't take together. If the pharmacy doesn't ask for one, you could get the wrong medicine. When you go to a pharmacy's web site, look for a seal that says VIPPS. If an online pharmacy has ".pharmacy" at the end of its web address, it's OK to buy medicine there. Knockel suggests you fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy, if possible. Only use pharmacies that require a prescription from your doctor or other licensed professional. The pharmacy should list privacy and security settings. The web site should not sell your personal information unless you sign an agreement saying it's OK. "If they don't list it, that's a warning sign," Catizone says. Knockel, Pharm D, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Iowa. Call the pharmacist if you have any questions, even a small one. Make sure the seller is licensed or registered by the state where it's based. You can also look for licensing information on the pharmacy's web site. You should be able to talk with one on the phone, by email, or online, says Laura E.
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