An online pharmacy, internet pharmacy, or mail-order pharmacy is a pharmacy that operates over the Internet and sends orders to customers through mail, shipping companies, or online pharmacy web portal.
Online pharmacies include:
- Pharmacy benefits managers – Entities that administrate corporate prescription drug plans.
- Legitimate Internet pharmacies in the same country as the person ordering.
- Legitimate Internet pharmacies in a different country than the person ordering. This type of pharmacy is usually licensed by its home country and follows those regulations, not those of the international orders.
- Illegal or unethical internet pharmacies. The web page for an illegal pharmacy may contain lies about its home country, procedures, or certifications. The "pharmacy" may send outdated (expired shelf life) or counterfeit medications and may not follow standard procedural safeguards.