Barbara McKee, opinions columnist for the Albuquerque Tribune, had this to say about online pharmacy safety in a column published today entitled, “Drug scams: Online pharmacies offer low prices, but can you trust them?”

Don’t be fooled by e-mails stating, “We are the safest Canadian online pharmacy.” Ordering from Canada may be cost-conscious, but beware of online stores that don’t have a detailed Web page listing their credentials, license number, years of business and contact numbers, or that have an address that is a P.O. box.

I check out these e-mails about once a week, and 99 percent of them are phony. I use the Web site Edrugsearch.com to look up online drugstores. IMPAC, a U.S.-based accreditation company for mail-order pharmacies, is the watchdog for Edrugsearch, confirming an online drugstore’s credentials.

Don’t forget the shipping and handling prices, which can negate the low-cost medication price. Most importantly, be careful of buying medications that are critical or life-sustaining, such as diabetes or heart drugs. If you do your homework, you can get your prescriptions delivered safely, correctly and on time.

Thanks for spreading the word, Barbara!