The 9 Best Online Pharmacies of 2020

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First Look

Best Overall: Blink Health

"Blink Health can provide you discounts on drugs with its network of more than 35,000 local, brick and mortar pharmacies."

Best Runner-Up: Honeybee Health

"Two-day expedited delivery is available for around $10."

Best for Families: CanDrugstore

"The pharmacy allows you to combine deliveries with your spouse or family members to further decrease shipping costs."

Best for a Price-Match Guarantee: PharmStore

"PharmStore is so confident in its low prices that it offers a price-match guarantee for any pharmacies approved by both CIPA and Pharmacy Checker."

Best for Bundling: Pill Pack

"The company bundles your medications into convenient packets to take at specific times of the day."

Best for Free Shipping: Mail My Prescriptions

"Insurance is not accepted, but the pharmacy offers free standard shipping with delivery expected within one to five days."

Best for Temperature-Sensitive Shipping: Health Warehouse

"Any medications that are temperature-sensitive will only be mailed Monday through Thursday to ensure timely delivery."

Best for Referrals: Doctor Solve

"The pharmacy has a bonus referral program too, earning you around $25 in credit for each referral and saving your friend about $25 on their first order."

Best for New Yorkers: Capsule

"You won't need to wait in any lines, the app automatically tracks refills, and you can text, call, email, or chat with your pharmacist at any time."

While you've likely used a brick-and-mortar pharmacy to get your prescriptions, online pharmacies can be a convenient and efficient way to get the medications you need. Online pharmacies allow you to fill prescription medications using a pharmacy you visit online or on an app instead of in-person.

Regardless of the type of pharmacy you use, local or online, medications that are not over-the-counter require a prescription by a licensed medical professional, (i.e., a physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant). A pharmacist cannot order these types of medications for you.

Now that electronic medical records are commonplace, most prescriptions are transmitted to pharmacies digitally. While you may still be given a hand-written prescription on occasion, e-prescribing, as it’s called, is preferred because it helps to decrease transcription and dosage errors. To get a prescription, you may be required to have an office or telehealth visit. Your provider will then send your prescription electronically to your preferred pharmacy. 

If you need a medication right away (i.e. an antibiotic), a local pharmacy is your best bet. However, an online pharmacy could offer you more cost savings and convenience. Your medications could be mailed to you directly and set to arrive on a fixed schedule. Plus, you may also be able to buy in bulk (i.e. getting a three-month supply of a medication at once). Also, some online pharmacies also offer over-the-counter non-prescription drugs at a discount.

In case you're looking to transition purchasing prescriptions from a storefront location, we've chosen the best online pharmacies to meet your needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Blink Health

Blink Health

Blink Health

Blink Health is an online pharmacy based in New York, with out-of-state licensure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It may or may not accept your insurance depending on your health plan.

Standard shipping is free, although the site does not list an expected time from order to delivery. Savings may be as high as 80% off retail prices on approximately 15,000 different medications. What makes the program unique is that it is also a prescription drug discount program and can provide you discounts on drugs in their network of more than 35,000 local, brick and mortar pharmacies.

If you do not have a prescription, you can take advantage of online consultations with Blink Health physicians to get selected prescriptions, such as medications for birth control, cold sores, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and high cholesterol.

A pharmacist is available during business hours (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST) to address any questions you have. The pharmacy is recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and participates in the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program.

Best Runner-Up: Honeybee Health

Honeybee Health

Honeybee Health

With out-of-state licensure in 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, Honeybee Health was founded in 2017 and works with pharmacists that have over 30 years of experience. Like a regular pharmacy, Honeybee Health only sells medications regulated by the FDA and purchases prescription drugs from licensed distributors in the United States. 

Honeybee Health does not ship medications, like insulin, that are temperature-sensitive or that require refrigeration. Insurance is not accepted, and standard shipping is free, with an expected delivery date within seven to 10 days of the order. Two-day expedited delivery is available for around $10.

A pharmacist is available during business hours (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST) to address any questions you have. The pharmacy is recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and participates in the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program.

Best for Families: CanDrugstore

CanDrugstore

CanDrugstore

CanDrugstore is based in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and dispenses prescription, non-prescription, and pet medications from their Canadian dispensary, as well as from international fulfillment centers that are approved by the regulatory bodies in their respective countries (Australia, India, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

Shipping is around $10 per package (not per drug), with free shipping available for orders over approximately $99. The pharmacy allows you to combine deliveries with your spouse or family members to further decrease shipping costs.

Shipments are expected within 21 days. No more than a three-month supply is deliverable at one time, and all sales are final and refunds are not allowed. However, exchanges may be permissible if a product arrived damaged or with a defect.

Savings are estimated to be 40 to 70% off retail costs. Pharmacy technicians and customer care specialists are available during business hours (weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST and weekends from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST) to address any questions you have. You are also free to reach out by live chat.

The pharmacy offers a Refer-A-Friend program, as well. You will receive around $15 for each referral, and your friend will receive about 10% off a first order or $15 off a first order over approximately $99. CanDrugstore has a 5-star rating on Pharmacy Checker.

Best for a Price-Match Guarantee: PharmStore

PharmStore

PharmStore

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Caniba, PharmStore ships up to a three-month supply of medication at a time.

The pharmacy offers both prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as pet medications. Drugs may be mailed from the Canadian dispensary, but can also come from international fulfillment centers that are approved by the regulatory bodies in their respective countries (Australia, Mauritius, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom).

Shipping is free with expected delivery within 14 to 28 days, and returns are not accepted unless a medication was dispensed in error. A pharmacist is available during business hours (weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST and weekends from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST) to address any questions you have. You are also free to reach out by live chat.

PharmStore is so confident in its low prices that it offers a price-match guarantee for any pharmacies approved by both CIPA and Pharmacy Checker. The price of shipping, however, must be included in the cost comparison.

The company offers a bonus referral program as well, earning you around $20 off a future order and saving your friend about $20 in credit at the time of their first order. There is no limit as to how many people you can refer. PharmStore is rated 5 stars (out of 5 stars) on Pharmacy Checker based on customer reviews.

Best for Bundling: Pill Pack

Pill Pack

Pill Pack

Pill Pack, run by Amazon Pharmacy, is based in Manchester, New Hampshire and is licensed nationwide, although it does not deliver to Hawaii.

The pharmacy not only fills prescription medications, but can include over-the-counter medications and vitamin supplements as well. The company bundles your medications into convenient packets to take at specific times of the day, so there will no longer be a need for a pillbox or sorting your own medications. As needed prescription drugs will be supplied in separate containers.

Automatic refills will be delivered on a 30-day cycle, rather than a 90-day cycle. This allows the pharmacy team to make timely adjustments to your medications if there are any changes to your treatment regimen. The company accepts insurance, and shipping is free, with the first one guaranteed to arrive within two weeks.

A pharmacist is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address any questions you have. The pharmacy is recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and participates in the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program.

Best for Free Shipping: Mail My Prescriptions

Mail My Prescriptions

Mail My Prescriptions

Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Mail My Prescriptions is and has out-of-state licensure in 49 states (minus Alabama) and the District of Columbia.

Insurance is not accepted, but the pharmacy offers free standard shipping with delivery expected within one to five days. Expedited shipping is not available at this time. Prescriptions cannot be returned once they are shipped, but you are advised to contact the pharmacy within 72 hours if you note any discrepancies with your order.

A pharmacist is available during business hours (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST) to address any questions you have. Depending on the medication, savings might be as high as 90% off retail prices. The company offers periodic promotional codes to decrease the cost of your medications.

Mail My Prescriptions offers a price match guarantee for generic medications based on their pre-coupon price. The pharmacy is recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and participates in the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program.

Best for Temperature-Sensitive Shipping: Health Warehouse

Health Warehouse

Health Warehouse

An online pharmacy based in Florence, Kentucky, Health Warehouse has out-of-state licensure in all 50 states.

Insurance is not accepted, and ground shipping is free if you sign up for their monthly newsletter. Otherwise, it is around $4 for standard delivery within two to eight days. Expedited delivery is also available for an added fee. Any medications that are temperature-sensitive will only be mailed Monday through Thursday to ensure timely delivery.

The pharmacy offers a 90-day return policy for any over-the-counter medications as long as they are in their original packaging. However, they do not accept returns on prescription drugs.

A pharmacist is available during business hours (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST) to address any questions you have. The pharmacy is recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and participates in the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program.

Best for Referrals: Doctor Solve

Doctor Solve

Doctor Solve

Established in 1999, DoctorSolve is based in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and has earned the trust of over 200,000 patients. The pharmacy has a bonus referral program too, earning you around $25 in credit for each referral and saving your friend about $25 on their first order.

The pharmacy dispenses prescription, non-prescription, and pet medications. Most people save between 40 to 50% on prescription drugs and the savings can go as high as 70%.

Medications can arrive from their Canadian dispensary, but can also come from international fulfillment centers that are approved by the regulatory bodies in their respective countries (Australia, India, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

Shipping is around $10 per package, (not per drug) although additional charges may be applicable for overweight packages. Deliveries are expected within 21 days. Up to a three-month supply is deliverable at one time, and all sales are final and refunds are not allowed. However, exchanges may be permissible if a product arrived damaged or with a defect.

Doctor Solve has a 5-star rating on Pharmacy Checker. A pharmacist is available during business hours (weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST and weekends from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST) to address any questions you have.

Best for New Yorkers: Capsule

Capsule

Capsule 

Founded in 2015, Capsule considers itself to be a "pharmacy of the future." It sets itself apart from chain pharmacies and emphasizes its friendly, accessible pharmacists from the convenience of your phone.

The company prides itself on making the process of obtaining your prescription as seamless as possible. You won't need to wait in any lines, the app automatically tracks refills, and you can text, call, email, or chat with your pharmacist at any time. Plus, Capsule handles all the coordination between your doctor and your insurance company, so you won't need to deal with them directly.

If you need to transfer your prescriptions from your old pharmacy, Capsule will handle the process within one day. Any doctor can prescribe to Capsule, and you don’t need to set up an account before they send in your medication order. You can schedule your delivery to best suit your needs.

Capsule does same-day delivery and it's free. Your co-pay won't change while using the service. Currently, Capsule only delivers within New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Twin Cities, Minnesota.

How We Chose The Best Online Pharmacies

An internet search will bring up a long list of online pharmacies. When you select one for yourself, you will focus on finding the specific medications you need. We looked a bit deeper, and the following factors were assessed when ranking the online pharmacies included in this review.

  • Credibility: Legitimacy of online pharmaceutical pharmacies in the United States can be assured with verification by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The NABP offers the Digital Pharmacy Accreditation, previously known as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). This assures that the pharmacy is meeting national pharmacy standards as well as state and federal laws. The Canadian counterpart to the NABP is the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities. Both organizations, as well as some in other countries, participate in the Pharmacy Verified Websites Program, where all verified sites have a corresponding .pharmacy address to show they are as safe. Simply change a .com or .net address to .pharmacy. If the site does not load or redirect, it is not part of the program. The Canadian International Pharmacy Association also licenses and certifies pharmacies for the distribution of medications in the United States and Canada. Credibility was given top priority in our ranking strategy.
  • Savings and Benefits: Every online pharmacy is going to tote savings over retail prices and some may offer added benefits, like price-match guarantees and referral bonuses. PharmacyChecker.com is a helpful resource that allows you to shop and compare prices across accredited pharmacies worldwide. Prices that seem considerably lower than those on this site may be suspicious and could suggest a rogue pharmacy is in play. PharmacyChecker.com goes so far as to have one of its own licensed pharmacists review orders on any prescriptions you purchase, through any of the pharmacies accredited by their site. Pharmacies with this double-check feature were given higher priority.
  • Pharmacist Access: You should have direct access to a pharmacist, not support staff, if you have questions about your medications. Sites that specified their pharmacist availability, preferably 24/7, were ranked higher.
  • Shipping: Shipping is an important consideration. If the delivery costs more than your actual savings on your medications, it may not be worth it. Shipping costs should be clearly spelled out. Also, it is important to verify that packages that require temperature-regulation, like insulin, will be shipped accordingly. Programs that do not clearly outline this information were ranked lower.
  • Mailing Address: You want to know where your medications are coming from. For example, do not assume a medication is coming from Canada simply because Canada is in the name of the pharmacy. It is important to verify that there is a mailing address that confirms their location. No online pharmacies were considered for review unless there was a corresponding mailing address on their site.
  • Prescriptions: A pharmacy that offers you prescription-only medication without a prescription is a red flag. This is against the law. Pharmacists cannot diagnose your medical conditions and do not have the legal authority to write prescriptions. Do not assume that filling out a medical questionnaire or answering questions in an online consultation gives them the right to do so. Sites that offered medications without prescriptions were disqualified from this review.

What Types of Online Pharmacies Are There?

Technically speaking, online pharmacies are "mail-order" pharmacies because they deliver your medications to you by mail. That said, many local pharmacies offer home delivery services too. Most people would not consider them to be mail order per se. Before we address the pros and cons of online pharmacies, we need to distinguish between the types of pharmacies.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are companies that negotiate prices with drug manufacturers. They work on behalf of insurance companies to get the lowest costs for prescription drugs. These drugs are then added to health plans on that insurer’s formulary. The goal is to get both you and the insurer the best deal. Examples of PBMs with the top five insurers nationwide include CVS Caremark (Aetna), Express Scripts (Cigna), Humana Pharmacy (Humana), Ingenio Rx (Anthem), and OptumRx (United Healthgroup). These are what are traditionally referred to as "mail-order" pharmacies.

There are also independent online pharmacies that are not associated with specific health plans. They may or may not accept your insurance. Some people may turn to them to purchase medications that are not on their health plan’s formulary or to search for less expensive drugs from Canada and other countries. Unfortunately, not all online storefronts are legitimate. Nearly 95% of them do not meet standards set by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and many are not in compliance with state or federal laws.

These so-called “rogue” pharmacies put your health at risk by giving you fake medications (i.e. drugs without active ingredients, drugs with the wrong active ingredients, drugs at wrong doses, drugs with fillers, and even expired drugs). This could lead to unwanted side effects and poor health outcomes. It is important to do your research before turning to them for what otherwise appears to be a good deal.

What Are The Benefits of Using an Online Pharmacy?

Before you share your personal information with an online pharmacy, you want to make sure you are likely to benefit from using one in the first place.

  1. Online pharmacies allow you to buy in bulk. Mail-order prescriptions are often filled as 90-day supplies. This can save you time and money (i.e. You may pay a one-month or two-month co-pay for a three-month supply). It also saves the insurer money because they get bigger discounts when they purchase larger quantities.
  2. Online pharmacies may offer less expensive medications. Medications may be less expensive than retail prices. However, if a drug’s price seems too good to be true, it may well be. Take the necessary steps to assure you are not considering a rogue pharmacy.
  3. It is convenient to have medications delivered to you on a schedule. Sometimes life gets in the way. If you are busy, you could be late in picking up a prescription from your local pharmacy. Mail order takes that burden off you. It can also be especially helpful for people living in rural communities or for those who are homebound.
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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely - Blink Health." Accessed April 16, 2020. 

  2. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely - Honeybee Health." Accessed August 14, 2020. 

  3. Pharmacy Checker. "Can Drugstore." Accessed April 16, 2020.

  4. Pharmacy Checker. "PharmStore." Accessed April 16, 2020.

  5. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely - Pill Pack." Accessed August 15, 2020.

  6. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely - Mail My Prescriptions." Accessed April 16, 2020.

  7. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely - Health Warehouse." Accessed August 15, 2020.

  8. Pharmacy Checker. "Doctor Solve." Accessed August 15, 2020.

  9. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely." Accessed April 16, 2020.