How do I know what pharmacies are in-network?

Pharmacies are similar to healthcare providers and hospitals in that some are in-network and some are out-of-network. To find out if a pharmacy is in your plan’s network, check with your insurance plan.

Most retail pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, will fill short-term prescriptions and you may also be able to purchase a 31-90 day supply of prescribed medications through a mail order pharmacy.

If you need a specialty drug, you should contact your health plan for more information about how and where to fill your prescription.

Buying Drugs Safely Online

Be cautious about buying drugs online. A number of online pharmacies operate legally and offer a safe and convenient option for getting the medications you need. However, the Food and Drug Administration warns that there are also many illegal online pharmacies that sell prescription drugs that may not be safe to use. These illegal or “rogue” pharmacies often sell drugs that have not been approved by the FDA, contain the wrong or incorrect dose of a drug’s active ingredient or contain ingredients that are potentially dangerous or even deadly. It’s important to note that a rogue website may appear professional and legitimate.

To stay safe, the FDA advises consumers to avoid websites that:

  • Allow you to purchase medications without a valid prescription from your healthcare provider
  • Offer medications at prices that are deeply discounted or seem too good to be true
  • Send out spam emails offering cheap drugs
  • Are located outside of the United States
  • Are not licensed in the United States
  • Are not verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)

You can find a list of online pharmacies verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy here. The NABP recommends that people interested in buying medications online look for sites that end in .pharmacy and display the VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) seal—these are the sites that have successfully met NABP’s strict verification standards.

Find additional information about counterfeit medicines and illegal online pharmacies by visiting www.verifybeforeyoubuy.org. For more information on health fraud and tips on how to protect yourself from the dangers of counterfeit drugs, visit Fraud.org.