In today’s world where everyone prefers cashless transactions, online pharmacies have been very popular. In healthcare, pharmacy experiences the maximum benefits of being online. Online or e pharmacy have gained widespread access as compared to the traditional pharmacy. E pharmacy is a very good alternative for traditional pharmacies for the marketing and sale of medicines.

Traditional pharmacy is the most trusted pharmacy you the option of consulting the pharmacist regarding information about the medicines you intend to purchase. There is scope for discussion regarding the adverse reactions, the company and the cost of drugs by various companies. With online pharmacies the consumers are deceived and have experienced more harm than any better effects. Before you switch over to an online pharmacy, you should look over the pros and cons of both types of pharmacies.

Pros of online pharmacy:

One of the benefits of shifting over to an online pharmacy is the cost factor. Medicines in an online store are priced very less as they do not have any other expenses to bear because there is no store or any other expenses. The company needs to maintain a chain of network retailers and that is not there with online pharmacy. So the prices of medicines over the internet are much lower than the shops.

With online shopping of medicines, you can do it at your convenience. There is no need to rush to the pharmacy during the peak business hours, or wait in long queues.

Cons of online pharmacy:

With increasing online pharmacies, there is a risk that you may be dealing with an unethical and illegal pharmacy online. The pharmacy may not have the necessary registration and certificates required. There is a high chance that you may receive the outdated medicines, or the near expiry or expired medicines, or counterfeit medicines. The consumer safeguard principles may be missing with online pharmacy.

With the online pharmacy, there is no pharmacist to watch over any drug interaction, or any one to answer your queries and also the advantage of receiving medicines on the same day as prescribed.

Finding a pharmacist to help you may not be readily available with online pharmacy. Your queries regarding the prescription may not be answered. The personal interaction is lost with online pharmacies.

When ordering medicines online, there is absolutely no protection for the consumer. As there are no regulations and also lack of legality the consumer may suffer the potential dangers of online pharmacy. There can be a chance for drug or substance abuse, incorrect dosage and the drug interactions, the use of improper and adulterated ingredients to make drugs can cause death of the consumer. There is a potential chance that you may not receive the drug you ordered.

Protecting yourself:

Ensuring consumer protection is a vital aspect of any business. That is by:

  1. Encourage buying medicines from registered online pharmacy only.
  2. Never buy from those pharmacies that sell medicines without prescription.
  3. Don’t buy from any online pharmacy that is ready to dispense a drug for first time without consulting the doctor or without the prescription.
  4. Check for the license of the pharmacy and also look for consumer security policies laid by the company.
  5. Do not disclose any personal information like your credit card number, any medical or personal history until and unless you are sure that information provided by you is confidential.
  6. Check for the availability of the pharmacist before buying drugs.

Are the online pharmacies smacking retail outlets?

The online pharmacy has already set its roots tight in pharmaceutical industry. It is widely accepted and found to be very efficient in selling medicines. This has led to fear among the retail business men that it might affect their business. With technology advancing, most of the customer’s order their medicines using smart phones at their convenience.  However, there is some opposition to this online pharmacy because of fear to the consumer safety. 

Online pharmacy has turned out to be boon as well as a curse. For consumers who cannot afford to go to the traditional pharmacy can avail the benefits of online shopping. But this has to be done with caution.