An online pharmacy store provides access to medicines over the internet. All online pharmacies are not created equally though. Some are exclusively available over the internet, and others are online extensions of brick and mortar stores. It is also not uncommon to see offline pharmacies partnering and then setting up a common online store for their customers. However, no matter what kind of online pharmacy you talk about, they exist to serve patients through the Internets.
One thing that you need to note here is that in the present-day context, plenty of E-commerce outlets are available. Online shopping has become so popular that internet-based shops have considerably changed people’s shopping patterns. And the current scenario is such that prescription as well as non-prescription medicines are being increasingly sold online.
It’s almost been two decades now since the concept of selling medicines over the internet was first floated. So common that in 2008, close to 2989 internet-based pharmacies were in operation in the world. The number, however, is much higher today.
Here are the 6 Most Burning Questions About Online Pharmacy Store
Are there laws governing online pharmacies?
Yes, there are. Almost every country has laws governing online pharmacies. While in some countries such laws have room for improvement, in others they are doing a great job of protecting patients without hindering choice and convenience. These laws determine the kind of medications can be sold by pharmacies registered only while being compliant with these regulations.
It is important that pharmacies are licensed to sell drugs in the territories they serve. And almost always, it is mandatory that a customer has a prescription for the medicines they want to order. But in case, it is an over-the-counter medicine that they need to buy, then they might not need a prescription.
Also, an online pharmacy is able to cover customers from only those areas that fall under its retail license jurisdiction. A registered pharmacist also required to check and verify all prescriptions prior to their delivery.
There is, however, some ambiguity with respect to medicine shipping in some countries. There are also questions linked to payment prior to actual delivery of medications. Further, in certain parts of the world, there are no clear-cut provisions for recognizing prescriptions given by non-registered medical experts. So yes, different countries have different laws governing online pharmacies, so your experience might vary depending on what regulations they are trying to juggle. Just keep in mind that selling of medicines is a domain which is highly regulated in almost every country.
Are there any prohibitions linked to online medicine selling?
Yes, there are! It is prohibited in a lot of countries to sell medicines to people who are under the age of majority. Most online pharmacies are also not allowed to sell narcotic or controlled medications. They also can’t sell their products at prices higher than the maximum retail price. Pharmacies are also required to comply with government policies linked to cyber laws, internet advertising, privacy, etc.
Why an online pharmacy store is so popular?
One of the prime reasons why online pharmacy stores are popular among patients is because their products are relatively less expensive as compared to what is sold at brick and mortar shops. Some of the other reasons include anonymity of buyers, shopping convenience, all year-round access and lower overall transaction costs.
Online pharmacies are also a great boon to people who live in places where offline pharmacies are not easily accessible. Patients with limited mobility benefit immensely from such services.
What else? There are so many functionalities of pharmacy sites or apps that customer experience is always enhanced compared to a physical store. They make it possible for customers to check if the medications they need are in stock, check prices before they even place an order. Auto refills for chronic medications as an integrated reminder service is a common feature. These medication refill apps, which can help you with prescription refills without having to open your app.
And since they often run offers and discounts, you can save money too. Doorstep delivery is a convenience you can’t say no to. Most of these sites suggest alternative options for products that you look for and compare prices. Thankfully, the adverse effects of products are also clearly mentioned on these sites. That means, you can avoid medicines which could pose health risks for certain patients.
Although there are certain healthcare sites out there that promise to help you self-evaluate your medical condition through robots, you should be wary of such recommendations. Rather you should go for online doctor appointments. Experienced doctors available virtually are better than robots that run on algorithms.
Is that ordering process is complicated?
Online pharmacies have a lot to offer to their patients, and their ordering process is very straight forward. You can order your medications as and when you need them. You won’t have to wait for your medications to arrive in stock at the local pharmacy. The world of online pharmacies is vast. So, if you fail to find the required medications at one store, you always have 10 other options at hand where you can look for your medicines. Most of these sites deliver the ordered products urgently. For placing you first order, search for a good pharmacy store, look for the medicines you need, and then place your order in just the matter of a few clicks. Also, if a 24 hour drug store is what you are looking for, then going online would be the best bet.
Do these pharmacies also conduct diagnosis of different medical conditions?
While most of them partner with medical experts, some provide a more integrated service. By using technology, they are able to make such virtual meeting with doctors seem real to patients. This is a great way to boost the health and wellbeing of patients. The meeting consists of an assessment either through phone/video calls or written questionnaires. And once the responses are received, evaluating health conditions become easy for these healthcare experts. This way, they are also able to provide patients with prescriptions. If a real time video consult in not an option, patients can also send their disease related images to the medical experts using questionnaires.
How can an online doctor appointment be beneficial?
When you are able to make an online doctor appointment, healthcare becomes convenient. Isn’t it great to be able to access instant expert care with just a few clicks? Patients who are pressed for time can benefit immensely from this service. They can get medical advice without actually having to drive to a clinic. The other kind of patients that benefit the most are the ones who hesitate to go to their doctor as they are not comfortable discussing their health issues. The privacy that online consultations provide as great for this subset of patient population.
“Hope we have answered most if not all of the questions regarding online pharmacy store. If you are on any medications, there is no reason why you should not be able to switch and give online pharmacy apps a try.“