This is an Internet-based enterprise that sells medicines over the Internet. Orders are sent to customers by mail or courier delivery. These companies are divided into:
(a) legal Internet pharmacies with their own websites: they provide high quality pharmaceutical services in accordance with the requirements for process and product verification;
(b) illegal online pharmacies: the legality of the activities of such pharmacies is not confirmed, they do not comply with national or international standards and regulations.
The sale of medicines via the Internet began in the late 1990s. Since then, online pharmacies have become so big that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a special section on its official website called “Buying Medicines Online”. At the same time, special methodological recommendations have been developed to warn the public about the risks of buying medicines in illegal electronic pharmacies. For legal work on the Internet, pharmacies are required to obtain a license, the procedure for obtaining which is similar to the licensing process for a regular pharmacy.
Principles of operation of an online pharmacy
Online pharmacies develop mobile applications for their users. First of all, patients must download the mobile application on their tablet or smartphone. After that, they can create orders for the necessary drugs by uploading scanned copies of prescriptions. Before shipment of a medicinal product, each request for a medicinal product registered in the system is verified and checked by a group of pharmacists. Pharmacy employees send confirmed prescriptions to the warehouse of medical products located in the corresponding region, after which the ordered drugs are shipped. Patients can get their drugs at the nearest dispensing point.
Benefits of online pharmacies
The development of strategies to improve access to high quality medicines and increase their availability to the population is a pressing issue. Getting pharmacy supplies from an online store with delivery is a truly revolutionary solution with many advantages.
(a) Simplicity and convenience
An online pharmacy is a simple and convenient option for purchasing medicines. This method is especially useful for (a) people who live away from pharmacies, (b) the elderly and people with disabilities who cannot come in person to get medicines, (c) working people with busy work schedules, and (d) persons living in rural and remote areas. You can place an order at any time and from anywhere, and then receive it at a convenient time.
Given the speed of technology development, online pharmacies have more and more advantages that simplify the life of the consumer. One such promising benefit is auto-reminder. Many e-pharmacies also remind customers to reorder the drug. This option helps patients to continue their treatment regimen without forced interruptions. The consumer can download the recipe information at any time.
In addition, there is no need to postpone all business in order to visit the pharmacy during your working hours. There is no need to stand in a long queue. And in addition, you can change the settings so that repeat orders are sent automatically. Online pharmacies are available 24/7, and customer support services are also available 24/7 to handle drug requests.
(b) Availability and cost reduction
Compared to traditional pharmacies, online pharmacies offer good discounts and great deals. The cost of medicines purchased in an electronic pharmacy is lower than in a pharmacy in the neighborhood. This is due to the fact that the online pharmacy has no intermediaries, and drugs are purchased directly from the manufacturer.
There is no need to rent premises for a store and a warehouse, to maintain a large staff, including salespeople. Reducing these costs allows the business owner to charge lower drug prices. What’s more, the cost of delivery is significantly lower compared to the cost of traveling to the local pharmacy.
(c) Save time
It only takes a few minutes for a customer to visit an online pharmacy website and purchase any required prescription drug. This saves time traveling to the pharmacy and waiting in line to get the drug you need. Thus, online pharmacies save time and effort for patients.
(d) Wide range
Compared to traditional pharmacies, online pharmacies have at their disposal a diverse range of products at reasonable prices and wider stocks of medicines. Thus, the buyer can easily purchase the necessary drug. For example, If a patient wishes to purchase antibiotics online, this can be done at Canada Drugs Direct, an online pharmacy that sells a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
(e) Privacy of personal data
The information that the patient provides about himself during the purchase of a medicine in an online pharmacy is, as a general rule, confidential and is not subject to disclosure. The opportunity to purchase medicines online is especially appreciated by people who, for one reason or another, feel uncomfortable in direct communication with doctors and pharmacists, for example, in the case of STDs, erectile dysfunction, alopecia, acne, and so on. In this case, patients can order drugs without embarrassment.
For shoppers who feel uncomfortable buying pregnancy tests, sanitary pads, condoms or tampons in a pharmacy, online pharmacies make it possible to get drugs quickly and without outside attention.
(f) Simplified access to health information
Online pharmacies make it easy to access pharmaceutical products and important drug information. Online pharmacy websites provide useful information about diseases, drug interactions, and drug-related adverse events in the form of articles, informative blogs, and product facts. The online pharmacy will also tell the patient when to take and dose.
To purchase certain drugs in an online pharmacy, patients can use a special catalog for quick and easy familiarization with the assortment, annotation, contraindications, doses and analogues. The catalog performs a very useful function, as it allows the patient to make a decision to buy a drug or refuse it. At the touch of a button, consumers can compare prices as well as drug ratings.
(g) Simple and secure payment methods
Online pharmacies use a variety of payment methods. The buyer can easily choose a convenient payment option, as well as take advantage of great offers and discounts. Purchases in online pharmacies can be paid non-cash using a debit or credit card or using the paytm payment system. The buyer can also pay for the order in cash at the time of receipt.