Currently, thanks to the Internet, the number of requests to search for information related to medical topics is increasing. Statistics show that 71% of Internet users from the United States and 70% from European countries searched at least once in a year for health information. Moreover, these trends are becoming even more popular with the widespread use of mobile devices.
However, today consumers turn to the Internet not only to search for medical information but also to self-diagnose and receive various medical services or products. This trend is confirmed by the growing market of so-called online pharmacies in many countries of the world. However, these pharmacies have not only a lot of obvious advantages but also a number of disadvantages, more related to the issue of regulating their activities.
Recently, there has been a surge in e-commerce. The ever-growing popularity of online shopping has not spared the pharmaceutical industry. The concept of online pharmacies, as well as increasing online drug sales, has been around the world for more than twenty years. According to estimates by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 400 US and other foreign companies currently sell prescription drugs online.
Benefits of Online Pharmacies
Active Internet users have long had time to evaluate the main positive qualities of online pharmacies that offer a huge selection of medicines for all occasions. Also, there are often sold medical supplies, vitamins, cosmetics. Here are the main advantages that can be divided into several main points.
An online pharmacy can provide you with a simple and private way to buy prescription and over-the-counter medicines, usually at a more affordable price. This is due to the lack of various overhead costs such as rental and maintenance costs, the maintenance of a large number of hired personnel, and others compared to brick and mortar pharmacies. In addition, some resources work directly with manufacturers to offer incredibly cost-effective solutions.
Convenience Online Services
You can use the service at any time of the day, day or night, since online pharmacies work without breaks and weekends. Any product can be purchased at a convenient time for the buyer.
Online pharmacies are especially convenient if you live in a remote rural area, do not drive. Or if you have any disability restrictions and therefore you are attached to the house. Internet technology also allows you to compare the prices of medicines in different resources before you make purchases.
Privacy and Confidentiality
It is probably embarrassing to speak some diseases aloud. Therefore, the purchase of certain drugs in a regular pharmacy for the treatment of certain diseases seems to be a real test. The online pharmacy guarantees confidentiality and anonymity to the buyer.
For example, Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra, Cialis are some of the most commonly purchased online medicines for treating erectile dysfunction.
Consultation During the Selection of Medicines
In many reliable online pharmacies, you can get advice through customer support without leaving your home. A licensed pharmacist or doctor will answer your questions about your medication in detail. Using online services is a great opportunity to learn as much as possible about a drug of one kind or another, its purpose, and contraindications. Online pharmacies also provide diagnostic services. To do this, you need to fill out a special form that will help medical professionals find out your current condition.
Are There Any Dangers of Buying Medications Online?
According to data provided by the World Health Organization, about 10% of drugs that are fake are constantly present in the pharmaceutical market. Experts note that the likelihood of buying counterfeit goods over the Internet is up to 60%. This is about more than half of all products in this segment. There is something to ponder. What consequences await a person after taking such a fake medicine. With a favorable outcome, it does not help, and in the worst case, it can lead to serious health complications.
Simple Tips for Ordering Drugs Online
Take a look at some Food and Drug Administration tips and tricks to help you avoid problems and make online shopping safe and healthy. Here are some basic tips:
- Contact the National Association of Pharmacy Commissions (NAPB) to determine if the site you want to use is a licensed pharmacy with a good reputation. The database maintained by this association is called VIPPs (Verified Internet PharmacyPractice Sites). Any pharmacy on this list has been analyzed to make sure that it is safe and legal for you. However, not all online pharmacies have been reviewed. Another group of LegiScript, maintains a database of trusted pharmacies that are safe and legal.
- Look for the necessary medicine on the website of a real pharmacy, which actually exists and in the reality of which you personally have no doubt.
- The reliability indicator of an online pharmacy is a condition under which a prescription drug will be sold to you only by prescription. Technically, it is not difficult to do this – you can scan the recipe and send it by e-mail or use the other provided method.
- Look at the pharmacy website for what it sells. A normal online pharmacy will not sell drugs or narcotic drugs that can only be used in a hospital, for example, drugs for a chemical abortion.
- When choosing an online pharmacy, pay attention to whether it has an actual address, landline phone, whether it has a license to carry out pharmaceutical activities.
- Do not buy online medications that require special storage and/or transportation conditions. A serious pharmacy will probably not sell them to you, because to achieve compliance with all the requirements for delivery, for example, to another city is almost impossible.
The site must provide visitors with complete information about any drug. It includes the following items:
- full name of the drug
- Composition and indications of potentially hazardous ingredients
- appointments and a full list of contraindications
- detailed instructions for use
- possible side effects
- information on how to properly store the drug
- name and contact details of the manufacturer
If you find all the necessary information, and you are satisfied with the cost, you can start making online purchases. In this case, it is worthwhile to study all delivery conditions in advance, sometimes its cost may exceed the price of the medicine itself. At the same time, many online pharmacies deliver free orders to their customers. Most often, it is possible to pay for the purchase immediately after receiving the goods on hand.
If you want to safely buy a highest-quality brand or generic medicine that you need for yourself or your family at lower prices, then visit one of the reliable online pharmacies. However, it should be noted that the purchase of medical products and medicines through the Internet is quite a serious matter. Therefore, this event should be approached responsibly and thoroughly, and be sure to carefully re-check everything before buying.