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Online Pharmacy Lawsuits

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What Are Online Pharmacy Lawsuits?

An online pharmacy is a company that ships medication to consumers based on a prescription from the person’s physician or pharmacist. Such companies may work closely with health care providers and insurance companies, and can often help the customer save some money on their prescription drugs. Most online pharmacies don’t actually prescribe the medicine, but simply ship the medication based on an existing prescription.

Thus, online pharmacy lawsuits are legal actions that involve injuries or economic losses caused by an online pharmacy. In most cases, these lawsuits arise in connection with fake or bogus companies, but it is also common for legitimate organizations to be held legally liable as well. 

What’s the Legal Status of Online Pharmacies?

Online pharmacies are generally legal, and are usually allowed to operate under state and federal laws. However, legal issues can arise if an online pharmacy isn’t legitimately registered and approved according to government requirements. There are a number of bogus online pharmacies that reap profits under conditions of fraud, misrepresentation, or illegal transactions. Such online pharmacies should be avoided at all costs, even if they appear to promise “huge savings” on medicines.

Similar legal issues can arise for online pharmacies that market their services to U.S. consumers, but are based overseas (such as Mexico or India). These types of online pharmacy companies can be especially difficult to deal with legally, as they may be subject to different laws, or may simply disappear when confronted with a lawsuit.

What Are Some Legal Issues Involved in Online Pharmacy Lawsuits?

There are several potential dangers associated with online pharmacies. There are many different possibilities for legal issues as well as injuries to arise in connection with an online pharmacy. Thus, you should only deal with online pharmacies that are trustworthy and are approved according to U.S. laws.  Some common legal issues associated with such companies include:

  • Patient’s Health History: Online pharmacy companies usually don’t have direct access to the patient’s medical history. As a result, they may often have to blindly follow whatever prescription they are presented with, with no chance for personally interviewing or consulting with the consumer
  • Counterfeit Medications: Some online pharmacies engage in fraudulent practices such as providing fake medications or providing defective medication. This can lead to serious injury on the part of the patient
  • Illegal Sales: Many online pharmacies exist because a certain company is trying to get rid of overstocked or recalled medicines. Such sales may be illegal and can also result in serious injuries.
  • Controlled Substances: Certain online pharmacies exist simply as a “front” or a cover-up, in which the company actually sells illegal drugs (controlled substances). This is especially common for synthetic designer drugs, which may be sold using a series of code names online 
  • Improper Prescriptions: Prescription error can often occur with online pharmacy companies. This is because the company is often seen as an “extra step” in the overall process of getting the medication to the patient. Even qualified online pharmacies can be subject to miscommunications, delays, or other types of clerical errors related to prescriptions

There are many different possibilities for legal issues as well as injuries to arise in connection with an online pharmacy. Thus, you should only deal with online pharmacies that are trustworthy and are approved according to U.S. laws.

What If I’ve Been Injured Due to an Online Pharmacy?

Online pharmacy lawsuits may sometimes involve serious injuries to large groups of people. As a result, it may be possible or even necessary to file an online pharmacy lawsuit in the form of a class action lawsuit. Criminal laws can sometimes be involved.

Injuries due to an online pharmacy may actually involve more than one responsible party. For example, there may also be legal issues involving physicians, medical staff, or insurance companies. Thus, it may be necessary to consult with a lawyer to determine exactly which parties can be held responsible for your losses.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

The laws governing medical services online are still relatively new, and are constantly subject to change. If you need assistance, advice, or representation in relation to an online pharmacy dispute, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. Your attorney will be able to advise you on your best course of action, and can represent you in court during legal proceedings.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 09-14-2015 11:20 AM PDT

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