If you are trying to order medicine online, you should click here to learn everything you should know about online pharmacies.

About 1 in 4 Americans say that they struggle to afford their prescription medications every month -- and many can't even afford them at all. 

Due to the high costs of prescription drugs, some would rather risk a health complication, a worsening condition, or even refuse to seek treatment in the first place than have to pay for their medications. 

While the future of healthcare in America is uncertain, more and more consumers are turning to online pharmacies to save on the medications they need. 

However, there are several things you need to know if you plan to buy prescription drugs online. You want to be certain that the medication you're ordering is legitimate and safe.

You also want to know how to save as much money as possible. 

Read on to learn the right ways to order medicine online.

You Must Have a Prescription
What's the number-one thing you need to know if you're planning to order medicine online? 

You absolutely need to have a prescription from your doctor in order to be able to do so. 

Any legitimate pharmacy will require you to present a current prescription from a licensed medical professional before they can fulfill your order. Any pharmacy that claims it has an "in-house" doctor that will quickly write up a prescription for you is not operating under the rule of law. 

If an online pharmacy claims they don't require one, avoid buying from them. Pharmacies that don't ask for a prescription are unlicensed, unregulated, and can sell you pretty much anything and claim it's your prescription. (It's not.) 

Fake medicine is a huge problem in America. Even if the pills look like your medication, if you buy from an unlicensed pharmacy, you're putting your health at serious risk. 

That's why it's also important to look for a verified and licensed online pharmacy. Read more about how to ensure your pharmacy is licensed before you make your purchase. 

Consider Canadian Pharmacies
The truth is that, even if you're able to find the medications that you need at online American pharmacies, the cost may still be prohibitive. 

For example, one vial of insulin is about ten times cheaper in Canada than it is in the United States. 

Because the Canadian government puts a limit on how much prescription drug companies can charge consumers on their products. This makes it much easier for people to be able to afford their medications, regardless of their financial situation or specific health condition. 

In the United States, we don't have those limitation laws. 

This means that pharmaceutical companies are the ones that set the prices of prescription drugs. Since their goal is to make as much of a profit as is possible, they usually set the prices at a prohibitively high cost. 

Canadian pharmacies sell the same medications as American ones for a fraction of the cost. 
If you plan to order medicine online, you should certainly look into Canadian pharmacy websites.
Many Americans that live close to the border even drive to Canada, get a prescription from a walk-in clinic there, and fill their prescriptions before returning to the United States. 

Look for Coupons
Many online pharmacies will offer coupons for additional savings on the cost of your medications, just as standard in-person pharmacies do. 

Sometimes, the coupon will be automatically applied for you at checkout. Most of the time, however, you'll need to use an online pharmacy comparison tool that lists coupon codes and special offers that individual pharmacies have on particular prescriptions. 

Another way to lower the cost of the medication you order online? 

Ask your doctor if it's safe for you to take a generic medication instead of a name-brand one. Usually, you can save up to 30% of the cost of brand-name prescriptions when you buy generic. 

Read Consumer Reviews
Legitimate online pharmacies will also allow their customers to leave reviews on both the process of working with the pharmacy and the quality of the medication they received. 

Make sure you always take the time to read these trusted online pharmacy reviews and look out for any red flags.

Potential issues include a failure to deliver the medication in a timely fashion, a failure to deliver the medication at all, and constant spam emails after a delivery is made.

If consumers claim the medication they received was fake, you should absolutely feel free to report the online pharmacy to the FDA or the Canadian Department of Health.

Doing so doesn't just protect other people, it helps to increase the legitimacy of buying medication online. 

Use These Tips When You Order Medicine Online
If you plan to order medicine alone, the onus is on you to do your due diligence and ensure that the pharmacy you're working with is licensed and legitimate. 

Remember that if a price seems "too good to be true" or if the online pharmacy claims they don't require a prescription, it's time to walk away. 

Buying prescriptions in bulk, splitting a higher dosage of medication to make it last longer, and even asking for free samples of medication when possible are also great ways to lower the costs of your medications. 

Need more advice on how to lower your medical bills? Curious about what you can do to improve your health now so that you limit your risk of disease later in life? 

Our blog offers continual coverage and advice relating to all things health and wellness. Don't just stop at this article. Keep reading to make sure you know the best ways to stay healthy and happy.