Dan Hope and I went to the Penny Arcade Expo a couple weekends ago, and returned with some fine swag and an even finer virus.
I suppose we were asking for it by sharing controllers, oxygen and handshakes with a horde of gamers in a closed space, but you'll be heartened to know I took my swine flu like a man. Curled up in the fetal position, shivering, sweating and cursing, my wife struggled to understand my inane ramblings through chattering teeth.
"Drugs. I *cough* *cough* need...@#$%@%...drugs."
Luckily for us our doctor and pharmacy are a five minute drive from the house, so a phone call and quick trip to the local Walgreens got me all the tamiflu, ibuprofen, tylenol and vitamin C (old habits die hard) I needed.
Now that I've emerged from my cocoon of death and am once again a productive member of society, I can't help but wonder what I'd do if I lived in a more rural area. Getting the prescription was the easy part: I told my doc that I went toPAX in Seattle, that my colleague with whom I'd shared a room, bathroom, meals and maybe a hug or two had a confirmed case of H1N1, that I had been shivering with a fever, that every joint felt like a hammer had been taken to it the day before, that my normal phlegm production of a quart a day -- seriously, the average adult produces that much every day; it's science -- had increased fivefold, and my prescription was conveniently called in to my pharmacy of choice.
But what if you live far from a pharmacy, and what if you can't physically drive there yourself? Online pharmacies can deliver your meds right to your door, and we've reviewed the ten best online pharmacy sites around. I know what you're thinking: LOL online pharmacies? Are those the guys that send me emails with subject lines like "maik hur hap pee wif c1al1s" and "propecia for a buck a pill"? I thought the same thing, but my ignorance has been washed away through the cleansing power of knowledge.
There are accredited online pharmacies, and there are others. Accreditation comes from two organizations committed to weeding out the fly-by-night and fraudulent pharmacies:VIPPS and LegitScript.
VIPPS, short for Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Sites, certifies online pharmacies based on criteria set forth by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which you may have heard of, having been established over a century ago in 1904 "...to assist state licensing boards in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards to protect the Public Health." TheVIPPS website even lists recommended and "not recommended" pharmacies by name.
LegitScript rates pharmacies as either "Legitimate" or "Unapproved," and uses the same criteria as VIPPS, but has a more user-friendly feel and what I call fun pharmacy facts. Out of the 45,510 pharmacy websites in the LegitScript database, only 278 are legitimate, and 772 are candidates for approval. That leaves 44,460 pharmacies that don't meet LegitScript standards. To give you an idea of how strict VIPPS and LegitScript requirements really are, well-known pharmacies like The Medicine Shoppe and Rite Aid are pending LegitScript and VIPPS accreditation.
Our top three online pharmacies, listed below for your convenience, are accredited by both VIPPS and LegitScript, so order with confidence. To see if your pharmacy made the top ten, and to see the various pharmacy products and services each provides, check the pharmacy rankings.
Drugstore.com - TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award Winner
CVS.com - TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award Winner
Walgreens.com - TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award Winner