The Little Guy Wins In Drugstore Wars


New drugstore ratings published in the May issue of Consumer Reports reveal that 94% of readers are highly satisfied with their experiences at neighborhood independent drugstores. While customers said they were generally satisfied with their pharmacies, some were irked by long waits and lagging service at some big box stores. “Chalk one up for the little guy,” said Tod Marks, senior editor of Consumer Reports. “We found that the independents made fewer errors, offered swifter service, and were more likely to have medications ready for pick-up when promised.” The report also warns that rogue pharmacies continue to operate on the Internet, selling non-FDA-approved drugs, as well as narcotics, and risky supplements for sexual performance and weight loss. Of the more than 7,000 online drugstores reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, only 3.5% appeared to be legitimate. Some steps consumers can take when buying drugs online:

  • Note that credible online pharmacies include those affiliated with physical stores such as www.CVS.com.
  • Make sure an unfamiliar site is licensed by your state’s Board of Pharmacy. To do so, search for your state’s board of pharmacy online and follow the links to verify that the site is legitimate.
  • Look for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) seal, a good sign that a site complies with regulations that adhere to best pharmacy practices.
  • Check the NABP for a list of sites that it does not recommend. Go to www.nabp.net/programs.
  • Also, check LegitScript, another organization that verifies pharmacies doing business online in accordance with NABP recognized standards. Go to www.legitscript.com.