Online Pharmacies – A Welcome Alternative To Drug Purchase

The manifold benefits of Internet pharmacies have made them an instant favorite among customers. Less than a decade back, patients had to depend upon the traditional drugstores to get their prescriptions filled. The severely sick patients and the older lot had to depend on others to bring them the medicines. Those who could manage to go down to the nearby drugstore often ended up queuing in front of it. Patients then had to deal with an array of problems like, unavailability of drugs, insecurity with respect to their medical status and definitely the ever-increasing drug prices.

Such patients now have a much better alternative in the form of Internet pharmacies. Canadian Internet pharmacies have been a welcome relief for a majority of patients. They no longer have to go queue up in front of a drugstore nor do they need to purchase medicines in full public view. The ones who are dependent on others can even order their drugs without even moving out of their bed. All they need to do is to log in to an online pharmacy website and then look for the drug they want. Once their desired purchase is tracked, it can be ordered online right away.

Canadian pharmacies offer a range of value added services that go a long way in satisfying patients’ needs. Prescriptions can be refilled with a single call to their toll free number. Some good online pharmacies have the infrastructure in place to attend a patient’s requirement to deliver the drugs anywhere in the world. On request, prescriptions can be filled in Canada and mailed to the patient’s doorsteps. Apart from that, the pharmacy staff is well trained to handle customer queries. Patients who get all the prescription medicines filled from a single drugstore enjoy extended benefits like drug interaction check. This safeguards them from possible harmful drug interactions.

Apart from these, the low cost of drugs and increased degree of confidentiality with respect to the patient’s details are the major advantages of ordering drugs from an online pharmacy. The Canadian government has regulated the prices of prescription medicines, which in turn has made drugs a lot cheaper in Canada. Time to time discounts further lowers the cost of medicines. Besides, the drugs are delivered to the customers with utmost security and confidentiality.

Quality drugs at low prices, easy ordering process, confidentiality and a host of other services has made online pharmacies a welcome alternative to the community drugstores. With increase in Internet usage, the popularity of online Canada drug pharmacies will exceed unimaginable limits in times to come.

Online Pharmacies – Beware! 7 Reasons Why Local is Safer

Why would a person want to use an online pharmacy? As a family physician, I can only think of a few reasons to do so – but there are more reasons not to.

First, to list the reasons a person might want to use an online drugstore:

1. Lower price. Theoretically it might be possible to find a better price online than at your local drug store. Online stores don’t have the overhead of a physical storefront, and therefore may (or may not) offer lower prices.

2. Convenience. The younger generation likes to pay bills online, watch movies online, go to school online. Why not buy medicine online? Also, if it’s 50 miles to the closest pharmacy, ordering online may save the time and trouble of driving an hour to obtain medication.

3. Non-U.S. medicines. Online pharmacies are not limited to the United States, and medications unavailable here are sometimes available elsewhere.

That said, what are the dangers of using an online pharmacy?

1. No pharmacist to talk to. Unlike your local drugstore where a pharmacist is on hand whenever medication is dispensed, online pharmacies may not offer this service. What if your pill looks different than the last time you got it? What if you received the wrong amount? What if the tablets are too difficult to swallow, or crumble and fall apart? Will you save money if you buy a generic that’s so poorly manufactured that it’s ineffective or troublesome to administer?

2. Questionable supply chain. Unless you order from a well-recognized pharmacy (one affiliated with an established storefront pharmacy, such as a national chain store) how do you know where your medications came from? Just because you order them in the U.S. doesn’t mean they came from here. Do you want drugs from Asia? How will you know the source?

3. Counterfeit or tainted medications. How will you know if you receive the correct medication – or even a medication at all? Just recently counterfeit Alli was sold online, containing a totally different chemical in potentially dangerous dosage. What if you’re allergic to something and you don’t even know what you received?

4. Illegal drug purchases. Do you know the law? Is it legal to order medication from another country that the FDA has not approved for sale in the United States? Do you know what controlled drugs are? Is it worth the possibility of arrest?

5. No physician to oversee medications. Odds are great your doctor will not approve of certain online purchases, and may not want to take responsibility for prescribing any medication that you purchase through alternate sources. Who will you turn to for medical advice?

6. Side-effect reporting. What will you do if you experience a side-effect? Doctors and standard drug stores report significant side effects to pharmaceutical companies or the FDA. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry does have the responsibility to assure safety of approved products. If your medication has been obtained through a non-official source, this may not be possible.

7. Dangerous drugs. There’s a reason certain medications are not recommended by doctors, even though they are available for sale in this country and elsewhere. For example, certain asthma medications increase blood pressure and heart rate. Do you want to take a medication when you’re not fully informed regarding side effects? There’s good reasons antibiotics are not sold over-the-counter. Do you know what medication treats what infection best? Do you know what to do if it doesn’t work?

As mentioned above, an online pharmacy affiliated with a national chain store is likely as safe as going to a storefront pharmacy. But if you’re looking for a deal from questionable sources, think twice before placing your order.