Why has my online pharmacy stopped taking credit card payments?
Have you had trouble using a credit card to purchase medications from an international online pharmacy lately? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, this problem won’t be going away any time soon. Companies like Visa and Mastercard have joined the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), an alliance of organizations that aims to protect people from rogue and unsafe online pharmacies. Unfortunately, CSIP’s definition of a “safe online pharmacy” takes a broad-based approach and rejects any based outside the United States.
We agree that consumer protections are critical. Consumers should be wary when ordering medications online because there are rogue entities out there selling counterfeit medicine. But safe and legitimate international online pharmacies also exist. More importantly, they offer dramatic savings (50-80 percent) to American patients struggling to afford their needed medicines. Because what good is a medicine if you can’t afford it?
LegitScript is steering the course of CSIP. This private company certifies online pharmacies for safety and they have an FDA contract for $5.2 million to provide “Internet monitoring of illegal online pharmacies.” Their mission is: “promoting safety and transparency for online pharmacies and health products.” But their guidelines require that a pharmacy be located in the United States and that drugs are FDA approved if selling into the U.S.
Canada and other international pharmacies often sell the exact same drugs that get at home with the only difference being the packaging. And of course, these meds are not “FDA approved” because each country has its own system for regulating pharmaceuticals (some arguably safer than our own).
The good news is that international online pharmacies are offering customers the ability to pay for their medications by check. Of course, this may mean that payments take longer to process and medication shipments are delayed, which is never good for patients. Please keep this in mind when planning your next order.
Remember, we have tips for finding a safe international online pharmacy on our website.