The service sector, including medical services, is moving to the Internet. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, online services selling medicines and nutritional supplements were popular. Buying on the Internet has always attracted users with convenience and comfort. But today the role of such pharmacies and marketplaces has grown many times over because it helps to maintain health and life. Is it worth it to thoughtlessly trust all online services, or can there be risks behind convenience?
How to choose an online pharmacy?
The distribution of medicines is subject to special legal regulations by the state. Only sellers who have received the appropriate permission have the right to sell medicines. If you use the services of an online pharmacy, you should ask about the legality of their activities. Cooperation with a legal supplier eliminates 90% of problems and risks.
Sometimes the supplier acts as an intermediary, helping to select the medicine and arrange its delivery. Such services are also trustworthy. A small overpayment for a medicine saves time searching for the right pharmacy and drug. In this case, you need to choose a provider with a high rating and a large customer base.
There is a multitude of sellers who operate outside the legal field. They do not pay taxes and can offer prices, which are too cheap to be true. But there are risks behind these alleged benefits. No one will guarantee the quality of the order. Users often don’t get the drug they wanted. It is not uncommon for counterfeit medicines to be sold.
A huge mistake is to search for medicine on ordinary marketplaces (Amazon and eBay, etc.). As a rule, they cannot carry out commercial activities for the sale of medical products (American Amazon Pharmacy is an exception).
How to understand that an online pharmacy or platform is trustworthy:
1) availability of information about the registration of the entity;
2) a high-quality site that has been working for a long time;
2) a large selection of medicines and affiliated pharmacies (in case of an intermediary supplier);
4) availability of reviews from real users;
5) RX medications are not offered without a prescription.
If the seller fits all these parameters, then the risk of becoming a victim of scammers is significantly reduced.
What drugs are legally sold in online pharmacies?
There is no exhaustive list of medicines that can be bought at an online pharmacy. Many non-controlled substances can be offered via the Internet.
The most popular pharmaceutical products for online shopping include:
- remedies for erectile dysfunction (Viagra, Cialis, etc.);
- medicines for quitting smoking (Champix);
- medicines for weight loss (Saxenda, Xenical).
Very often, the purchase of the aforementioned drugs in ordinary pharmacies causes discomfort for the patient. For example, a man does not want the seller to know about his problems with potency. Remote communication with the seller eliminates embarrassment and feelings of insecurity.
Many drugs are only sold by prescription from a doctor. In this case, without a prescription, you will not be able to buy medicine even in an online pharmacy. We wrote about pharmacies that ignore this rule above. They are worth avoiding.
Some services have solved the problem of a preliminary visit to the doctor. Their staff includes a certified doctor who has the right to give an online consultation and issue an online prescription. Usually, the patient’s health status is assessed by filling out a special questionnaire by the latter. Sometimes a doctor may ask a customer to send test results or other medical documents. This allows one to make an order without leaving home.
The ease of working with online drug delivery services should not encourage rash purchases and self-medication. Such pharmacies are designed to simplify the process of buying and delivering medications but do not replace hospitals and doctors.