Online pharmacies have changed the way we deal with prescriptions. They have reformed our perspectives on medications, educating us on how we can save money if we act a little smarter. Internet pharmacies, with their lower drug prices, varied drug options and a load of facilities like doorstep delivery, automated refill, refill reminders, online order tracking and discount prices on bulk orders, have made buying medications online as advanced as buying books or CDs.
Though online pharmacies are a rage all over the world, people still have questions and doubts on their workings. Below are a few set of questions and answers to help your comprehend online pharmacies.
1. What are online pharmacies? How do they operate? Online pharmacies are pharmacies that operate through the internet. They operate as online drugstores, supplying medications to people at prices that are generally lower than brick and mortar pharmacies. Internet pharmacies allow people to order drugs and pay for them through credit card. They list all the drugs available with them, in different variants, dosages and packages. You can choose the type of drugs prescribed by your doctor, pay for them and then send your doctor’s prescription via fax. If your doctor’s office has an EMR system, you can ask them to send the prescription to your pharmacy through EDT.
2. What are the types of online pharmacies? There are basically three types of online pharmacies: 1. Pharmacies which are just internet versions of your local pharmacy store; 2. pharmacies that have an in-house doctor who prescribes medications to patients via online consultations; 3. pharmacies that supply medications without prescriptions through aggressive or forceful marketing.
3. Is buying online safe? Yes. But you have to choose the right pharmacy. You can save time and money if you buy from reputed and authorized online pharmacies. The U.S. Food and Drugs Organization (FDA) and the National Association of Board of Pharmacies (NABP) are the regulatory bodies of online pharmacies in the country. A site which has a VIPPS or Verified Internet Protected Pharmacy seal is one that proves that the internet pharmacy food.
4. Is buying in foreign online pharmacies safe? Yes, if you choose a pharmacy authorized and licensed by the government regulatory body of the country of the pharmacy’s operations. For instance, Canadian pharmacies are monitored by the Canadian Internet Association of Pharmacies (CIPA). So, if you buy drugs from Canada, you need to look at the CIPA seal in pharmacies.
5. Are online pharmacies selling cheap drugs? How do they sell drugs at lower costs? Online pharmacies do not have overhead costs or other costs associated with physical pharmacies. Some people run online pharmacies as a home business. In that way, they do not spend much for the pharmacy’s staff or employee benefits. So, they are able to send drugs at lower costs.
6. What if I’m cheated with counterfeit drugs from online pharmacies? If you are cheated with counterfeit drugs from online pharmacies or you are a victim of fake pharmacies, you can report about the issue to the FDA and the NABP. Visit www.fda.gov and www.nabp.net to find more about the reporting procedures. However, you can report only pharmacies that are based in the U.S. as the FDA warns U.S. citizens to not buy drugs from other countries.