Half of online pharmacies are not licensed, and a third of them lack privacy polices to protect patients' personal information, according to an analysis by PharmacyChecker.com, a company that evaluates online pharmacies.
The White Plains, N.Y.-based company says that while many U.S. pharmacy Web sites are licensed, few Mexican sites are, and even some Canadian sites that claimed to be licensed are not.
Specifically, the analysis, released Monday, finds that:
- one-third of the sites do not require an original prescription;
- 42% do not provide a company address and phone number; and
- 17% do not guarantee the financial information that patients provide online is secure.
"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," says Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of PharmacyChecker.com, in a release.