An Online Pharmacy May Offer Some Relief For Rising Prescription Drug Costs

By using a legitimate, state-licensed online pharmacy, people can safely order their medication on the internet and save money. Even if an individual is uninsured, he or she can buy medication prescribed by a doctor at a substantially lower cost than retail prices from a reputable online pharmacy.

This is great news for people on Medicare. Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage is underway this month, and millions of senior citizens are researching and evaluating the available options in order for them to make a sound decision on which insurance plan is best for their needs. Many seniors are also considering joining the millions of other consumers who are saving money by purchasing their medication from online pharmacies.

Prescription drug prices continue to rise, which creates additional challenges for many seniors who are trying to decide on which options are best and less costly to them. According to a recent report by PR Newswire, five of the top prescription drug plans will see double-digit increases in insurance premiums next year. In an attempt to avoid the high cost of prescription medication, millions of consumers are purchasing their medication from an online pharmacy.

Medication Available Online

In addition, Avalere Health, an advisory company focused on healthcare public policies and business strategies, says starting in 2016, for the first time in its history, Medicare Advantage program’s average prescription premium for Medicare Advantage enrollees will be more than $40 per month.

Also in 2016, no less than 15 million individuals enrolled in the top 10 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will see average premium increases of 8 percent. This increase in premiums accounts for more than 80 percent of those who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

The increase in Medicare Advantage premiums and prescription drug costs motivates seniors to shop for the best prescription drug prices — especially those individuals who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, close to two million Americans try to save money by purchasing their medication from an online pharmacy. For example, Costco, Walgreens, and are online pharmacies where people can order prescriptions online, have them delivered directly to their homes, and save money without requiring insurance.

Walgreens online pharmacy is much like a neighborhood drugstore, only online. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Street reports prescription drugs purchased from an online pharmacy like costs between 60 to 70 percent less than the average, retail pharmacy price charged to consumers.

In August 2007, Lalit Dhadphale co-founded and in 2008, he launched the company’s prescription drug business. Additionally, he has been president and CEO of the company since its beginning and has served as chairman of the board of directors since May 2009.’s prescription drug list includes the most generally prescribed medications at prices below the usual prescription or co-pay premium.

Most notably, is the only VIPPS-accredited online pharmacy licensed in all 50 states, which reduces the financial burden and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription medication experienced by millions of Medicare Advantage consumers. The online pharmacy’s drug catalog has more than 3,000 medications with affordable prices, providing consumers a cost-effective and easy choice in purchasing their prescribed medication.

Consumers must exercise caution in choosing an online pharmacy. Government investigators warn consumers they have found that many rogue pharmacies market bad drugs online that can cause serious harm. In an article covering the risk of purchasing medication from an online pharmacy, Wink News reports some pharmacies pretend to operate in other countries, selling drugs that are unapproved or even counterfeit.

In fact, some of those drugs were found to contain hazardous or deadly substances like toxic paint or even rat poison.

This summer, the Food and Drug Administration took action against more than one thousand online pharmacy websites; however, new ones continue to emerge. A recent survey of 11,000 online pharmacies found that only about 4 percent were operating according to U.S. laws and standards.

When researching an online pharmacy, here is an obvious red flag to look for. Avoid an online pharmacy that does not require a prescription for medication. In addition, if an online pharmacy is legitimate, it will have a state license, as well as a pharmacist available to discuss the consumer’s questions or needs.

Many people believe Canadian online pharmacies are safe. However, many online pharmacies claiming to be Canadian are not. Most are fake storefronts that sell low-quality products from overseas, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies.

However, consumers can trust some online pharmacy websites, such as and those ran by drugstore chains like Walgreens and stores like Costco.

Another reliable way to tell whether an online pharmacy is safe and operates within the U.S. is to look for the seal from the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites program, or VIPPS.

In addition to saving on prescription drug costs by purchasing from an online pharmacy, people can also find savings without going online. Some stores offer loyalty programs that give discounts to members, and many stores offer generic drugs at a discount in order to help consumers save money.

[Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images]