Internet pharmacy is starting to gain its popularity. The reason could be because the conventional way of buying drugs, where a person has to go to the drugstore to fill a prescription, is starting to become an inconvenience to many. As more and more people rely on the World Wide Web, they have also learned that they can rely on the Internet as well to get their medications. Is it helpful and convenient?
Internet pharmacy: Advantages and Disadvantages
Why is there are proliferation of online pharmacy stores? Here are the possible reasons:
- Buying medicines in an Internet pharmacy eliminates the need to travel in order to acquire the needed medicines. All that a person needs to do is to order what he or she needs using his or her computer, which is connected to the Internet, and pay using his or her credit card. The medicine is delivered to the given address.
- Since no travel is required, ordering and buying from an Internet pharmacy lessens the cost of traveling and saves plenty of time.
- Prices of medicine are less expensive when you order from a pharmacy online. Compared to conventional drug store prices, a lot of pharmacies on the Internet sell meds at a price relatively cheaper.
- Buying at an Internet pharmacy does not always require prescription when a customer needs to buy prescription narcotics. According to Internet pharmacies, they are able to diagnose and write a prescription based on the information that you submit to them online. The information is gathered using the Internet pharmacy’s supplied questionnaire.
On the other hand, those who are not very much convinced about the concept of an online pharmacy claims the following disadvantages:
- Other people may use the identity of another person (identity theft) through the personal information that’s entered on the online medical questionnaire of an Internet pharmacy.
- There is also a possibility that credit card fraud may happen. Shady individuals can use the financial information entered by the buyer in order to process unauthorized purchases and orders to different stores.
- There could be cases when illegal Internet pharmacies may send out out-of-date medications, counterfeit drugs, or dugs with incorrect dosages.
- Online pharmacy does not require a valid prescription, thus, there could be serious drug interaction if wrong medicine is administered to a patient.
How to determine a reliable Internet pharmacy
If you are convinced that buying from an Internet pharmacy is beneficial to you, here are some tips to remember in order to protect yourself from illegal Internet pharmacies:
- When buying from an online pharmacy, check the National Association of Board of Pharmacy (NABP) if the online drugstore is a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (VIPPS).
- Call your local pharmacy board and check if the online drugstore is licensed to dispose the medication that you are going to order.
- Before buying medicine, schedule a check-up with your doctor and get a valid prescription that you are going to buy online.
- The Internet pharmacy from which you will buy your medicine should require a valid prescription before processing your order. Even a board-certified doctor cannot come up with a precise prescription simply by reading a medical questionnaire.
- There are online drugstores that offer the services of a licensed pharmacist. Find those online drugstores.
There are plenty of advantages that online pharmacies offer, the foremost of which is the convenience of not going out of the house and travel just to get the medicine that you need. However, you have to make sure that you are buying from a reliable Internet pharmacy before paying for your medicine. After all, it is your or your family’s safety that’s on the line.