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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Can I buy medical products online? How do I know they’re safe?

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While buying medical products online can be easy and convenient, FDA urges you to be very careful. Some Web sites sell products that may not be safe to use.

Before buying from a Web site, look for the VIPPS Exit Disclaimer (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) seal. The VIPPS seal means that the Internet pharmacy is safe to use because it has met state licensure requirements, as well as other criteria of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. See VIPPS Program Exit Disclaimer for a list of pharmacies that display the seal.

Other tips for buying online:

  • Don't buy from sites that will sell you prescription drugs if you don't have a prescription.
  • Use sites that have a pharmacist to answer your questions online.
  • Only buy from sites based in the United States.
  • Go to your doctor or clinic before using any medicine for the first time.
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