Medical scientists are advising the public to get their medical information online to avoid being caught out when buying prescription drugs online.
In a new video from the American Medical Association, doctors and medical scientists are urging people to go online to search for prescription drug information before buying prescription medications.
The AMA says doctors have seen increased prescription drug prices because of the lack of information in the marketplace.
The AMA says many Americans buy medications online, including generic versions, because they’re not aware of how to get the medication in a pharmacy.
“We’re seeing a lot of people buying these generic versions and they’re actually making it difficult for them to be able to make a decision,” AMA president Dr. David Karp told CNN.
In an effort to improve the information people are able to get, the AMA is working to make it easier to find information for doctors, and to update and expand a database of medical information that was originally developed in 2008.
To find out how to find a prescription from your doctor or pharmacist, check out this guide: “It’s kind of a nightmare,” said Dr. James Fagan, a neurologist and professor of medicine at Yale University.
“If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on, you’re going to have this confusing experience.”
Dr. Karp says if you are a patient who wants to buy a medication online, there are some easy steps you can take to help yourself.
First, you should make sure you know what you’re getting, he said.
“A good rule of thumb is if it’s a generic version of a medicine that has a label that says it’s generic, it’s not going to be a generic,” he said.
“If it’s the brand name, it probably is,” Fagan said.
You should also know the brand and how much the medicine is going to cost.
He also says to be cautious about what the manufacturer is saying about the drug.
“When you hear about a brand-name drug, it sounds more like they’re telling you that they’re going for a brand name than a generic drug,” he explained.
“It’s probably just the generic version, and you can just use that.”
Dr Fagan also said to be wary of online drug sites where you’re buying medications without a doctor’s prescription.
“The website is the only place that you’re really going to see the actual prescription, and that is in a very sterile place,” he added.
“You’re basically buying the drug from a company that has been licensed to sell it in a state or a country that does not require a prescription.
And that’s not really what a doctor or a pharmacist is looking for.”
Another tip, Fagan added, is to go with a pharmacy where you can talk to a pharmacostician.
“So you go to the pharmacy, you look at the medication and you tell them how much you want it, how much it’s going to price you, what the brand is, what you need it for,” he continued.
“Then they’ll take it to the doctor, and then you get the prescription in the mail.
It’s a really good tip, but you don’t have to do it every time.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently urged parents to be more aware of prescription drug price information, and said doctors should keep patients informed about how much they are paying.
The AAP recommends parents and caregivers use the Drugstore.com website, where they can find a list of prescription drugs that they can buy and how to pay for them.
“Parents should ask their physicians if they have to have a prescription or if they can get one,” the AAP said.