WHITE PLAINS, NY ¨C PharmacyChecker.com, a new website that evaluates online pharmacies and compares their prices, finds that only 50% of the pharmacy sites it has evaluated dispense through a licensed pharmacy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned that consumers using unlicensed online pharmacies may receive poor quality or incorrectly dispensed medications.
Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of PharmacyChecker.com said, "Americans are flocking to foreign online pharmacies to save money but often without knowledge of who these companies are, how they operate, and whether they offer the best prices. PharmacyChecker.com's information will help consumers avoid unnecessary risks and maximize their savings." Dr. Cooperman is also the founder ConsumerLab.com, a popular site for evaluating brands of dietary supplements and nutritional products.
PharmacyChecker.com evaluates pharmacy sites based on five objective criteria. Among the twelve sites already evaluated, only five have received the highest rating. The following shows the percentage of sites satisfying each of PharmacyChecker.com's criteria:
¡¤ Verified pharmacy license (50% are not licensed)
¡¤ Verified, posted physical address and telephone number (42% don't provide these)
¡¤ Security of online financial transactions (17% are not secure)
¡¤ Requirement of an original prescription (33% don't require it)
PharmacyChecker.com also maintains a continually updated, comparative database of drug prices from the pharmacy sites it evaluates. Analysis of current prices shows:
¡¤ Among sites requiring a prescription, Canadian prices average 49% lower than U.S. prices for brand-name drugs (excluding shipping charges).
¡¤ U.S. sites that don't require prescriptions (and, consequently, are not licensed) charge an average 54% more than U.S. sites that do require prescriptions.
¡¤ Mexican sites typically don't require a prescription and their prices are generally the same as U.S. sites that require a prescription.
Dr. Cooperman offered the following tips to consumers: ¡°Canadian pharmacy sites can save Americans a great deal of money, particularly when an order includes multiple prescriptions. However, some Canadian sites are more qualified than others. If you want to stay with U.S. sites, it pays to compare prices, even among well-known, licensed sites. If you are seeking medication without a prescription, which is risky, there are unlicensed Mexican sites with prices comparable to licensed U.S. sites and there are many heavily promoted, unlicensed U.S. sites but their prices are the highest of all.¡±
Price comparisons on over 1,500 medications as well as pharmacy ratings and 40-item profiles are available at www.pharmacychecker.com on a subscription basis. Customer ratings of pharmacies will also be available shortly on PharmacyChecker.com's Web site.
PharmacyChecker.com LLC provides objective ratings and price comparisons of Internet pharmacies. It is privately-held and based in White Plains, New York. It has no ownership in or from companies that sell or distribute pharmacy products. Individual subscriptions to PharmacyChecker.com are available online. For specialized reports or group subscriptions, contact Gabriel Levitt, Director of Research at [email protected].