Some of the most dangerous fake web sites are online pharmacies that sell medications that are illegal to purchase without a prescription. Their products are often diluted or even completely counterfeit versions of the real medication. Also, these rouge sites often steal their customers’ financial and personal information.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP, http://www.nabp.net) certifies pharmacy sites with its VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) accreditation program. In July 2012, it released the results of its investigation of over 10,000 online pharmacies. It found that an astonishing 97% of them do not comply with pharmacy laws and practice standards.
NABP urges buyers to use only those online pharmacies that merit its VIPSS seal of approval. It hosts a list of verified pharmacies on its site: http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online/recommended-sites/. It also certifies online veterinary pharmacies with its program called Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, http://www.nabp.net/programs/accreditation/vet-vipps/find-a-vet-vipps-online-pharmacy/). NAPB also maintains a list of known rogue sites: http://www.nabp.net/programs/consumer-protection/buying-medicine-online/not-recommended-sites/.
Search for your prescription medication by name to access its official information, including its chemical structure! Have a loose pill and don’t know what it is? Enter its imprint code or even its color and shape into the Pill Identification Wizard.
Can colon cleansing treatment purge your ills? Find out from Dr. Stephen Barrett and company. Barrett is the dean of the today’s anti-quackery movement in the United States and maintains this extensive site which includes articles, consumer protection alerts, and links to other anti-quackery sites.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute website first. NCI gives general information for over 100 types of cancer, as well as links to clinical trials and dictionaries of cancer and drug terms.
Doctors can tell so much about the state of our health just from blood tests and such. Lab Tests Online gives us laypeople a window to that world of information. Find lab test information by disease, test name, or screening population group. Learn how to interpret the results. Discover which routine test you should undergo, and how often.
Count on the American Academy of Family Physicians [http://www.aafp.org] to bring us dependable consumer health information on the wide variety of conditions and ailments that a family doctor might encounter. Visit the OTC Guide to understand the active ingredients in the medications that you can buy “over the counter.” Browse the Smart Patient Guide for advice about talking to doctors and finding affordable health care. Watch short videos about health problems and solutions.
When I read a medical article, I often don’t understand half the words in it. When that happens, I visit the Merriam-Webster Dictionary site. I type in the term I don’t know (“adipose tissue,” for example) and then choose the “Medical” search option. When I click the search button, up pops the definition and a link to hear the word pronounced. Oh! “Adipose tissue” is another name for my fat pad!