Purchasing medications online has become a safe and convenient, as well as fairly common alterative to the traditional supply chain during the recent years. Many governments, including the more conservative governments in the U.S. and the countries of the European Union, are slowly but steadily moving towards the digital presence of pharmacies which is at least equal to that of the actual drugstores, if not prevailing.
This trend is expected to grow, virtual drugstores taking precedence in multiple countries around the world, erasing the borders where possible with international deliveries. This practice will help level off the cost of healthcare products in the countries with economically complicated access to medical care items, while bringing a measurable influx of money into the economy of their country of origin. A double win; and these are not the only benefits of shopping for drugs online.
In a survey of shopping habits spanning some 30,000 respondents aged 18 to 65, it was established that roughly 57% prefer online shopping to actually visiting a physical store, while 12% are not partial to either online or offline kind of shopping. It is thus obvious that e-commerce continues to be winning over the world. As for the trends in e-pharmacy business, this resource expects the percentage of purchases made online spike from 29.4% in 2014 to 128% by the year 2023.
Who and why uses the services of e-pharmacies?
Online shopping for something as essential as drugs surely stretches the capabilities of ecommerce. For one, the drug suppliers can offer:
- a considerable reduction in prices
- enforceable protection of medical information
- special system of healthcare services for customers
- easier access to discount drugs
- increased diversity of product range
For shoppers with physical disabilities, compromised health (which is often the case among customers of online drugstores) or those living in remote areas, e-pharmacies are a key solution to multiple other problems associated with mobility and logistics.
Concerns with e-shopping for pharmaceutical products
Attractive and convenient as it may be, purchasing drugs off e-pharmacies is not devoid of its downsides, the major of which is a layer of insecurity associated with ordering medications from an online pharmacy store for the first time. According to LegitScript, a somewhat radical organization checking the compliance of online pharmacy stores with the national laws and regulations, only the alarming 3% of drugstore operated legitimately in 2013.
Furthermore, even legally operating e-pharmacies can be subject to multiple risks; we are now speaking about flawed system of personal information securing. Shortcomings in the cross-site scripting, failure to meet the legal requirement for customer data protection, operating using outdated software – all of these flaws are officially reported to plague many cyberspace drugstores.
Canadian Pharmacies for U.S. shoppers
Almost everyone in the U.S. is familiar with the fact that the drugs cost considerably less in Canada; in fact, the price of pharmaceutical products is so much lower north of the border that many Americans dedicate time to traveling to the neighboring country for major pharmacy shopping sprees. Many U.S. citizens order from Canadian pharmacies online; but caution should be exercised.
It is now part of everyday life to sell and buy various kinds of items online, from technological equipment to clothing and food. However, some product categories, such as those concerning health and well-being, such as prescription drugs, are not always available in the network in a safe and traceable way. In fact, finding a secure online pharmacy is increasingly complex. This happens because the legislation until recently was not clearly expressed regarding the sale of online drugs, in fact allowing the development of illegal and dangerous platforms.
We suggest that you scan the list of verified Canadian drugstores (https://www.pharmacychecker.com/accredited-online-pharmacies/) before placing an order, because the popularity of Canada-based e-pharmacies has inspired many malefactors to exploit their resonant name and engage in fake drug distribution. Below you will find tips on how to tell a reliable drugstore from a fraudulent one.
Things to pay attention to when choosing an e-pharmacy
After checking that the online pharmacy is authorized, you can proceed with the purchase of the medicines. But it does not end here: on delivery you must make sure that the drug is intact and has not expired.
There are features that allow you to recognize a reliable online pharmacy, one of which you can trust without thinking twice:
The presence of contacts: on the site there must always be a contact page, with the physical address of the pharmacy or parapharmacy, a fixed telephone number, the company name, the registration number;
The presence of customer service: online pharmacies must have a direct channel of contact with potential customers, which can be used both before and after the purchase. A web application developed for the healthcare store, a trend set by Smartcanadianpharmacy.com, is a great feature that shows genuine care for customer’s needs; it can multifold facilitate reaching out for support. Furthermore, through the customer service it will be possible to manage any goods returns. The instant chat is also an added value through which you can talk directly with a pharmacist to ask for advice on purchases or information on the progress of your shipment.
When you receive your medications, this is what you should check on the package:
- We therefore recommend:
- Check the expiration date;
- Make sure the package is intact;
- Look for the lot number which by law must be indicated on each package (in this way the drug is traceable).
Other unofficial indicators could make the choice of online pharmacy even safer: it is good indeed that, within the sites, there is for example a multi-channel customer service, which allows a direct relationship with the pharmacist through e-mail , telephone, social media; or a fast delivery service that guarantees the efficiency of the online pharmacy and a punctual and intuitive organization of e-commerce.
And remember that even if you have become a victim of a rogue pharmacy malpractice, there is always something you can do. Reporting an instance is important to help spreading awareness and helping to fight the abominable practice. Organizations like The Partnership For Safe Medicines is one of the reliably effective institutions leading the initiative that helps eliminate and prevent the incidence of fake drug distribution through online pharmacies.