It is legal for pharmacies and other dispensing organizations to sell their drugs online. Being able to order your medications and supplies online offers a great level of convenience, especially if you are not able to reach the pharmacy. You can also look for cheaper stores online and making great savings on the cost of medicine.
Risks of Buying Medicine Online
Unfortunately, there are great risks to buying medicine online. You may buy drugs that contain dangerous ingredients. There are also scammers that set up sites that only serve to steal your personal and payment information, without selling you the drugs. Other sites sell drugs that are too weak or too strong or may be expired.
You may also not get the right dosage for your condition, or the drugs may have been labeled, stored, or shipped incorrectly. Because of these issues, you should always be careful when choosing an online medicine store in India, and use reputable websites, such as Big Chemist. The Hindustan Times also advises that you purchase medicines from licensed pharmacy sites only.
Staying Safe When Buying Medicine
Avoid buying medicine that is not prescribed. With the development of the Internet, most people are just getting online, reading about the symptoms of the disease that they think they may be suffering from, and buying the medicine without the relevant test. Self-diagnosis is very dangerous.
You may poison yourself or buy medicine online that may not improve your health status. Always talk to your doctor and get tested for any symptoms for which you may be suffering. Get a prescription according to the results of an evaluation.
When giving the prescriptions, the doctor will ask for your age, check on your overall health, and ask for other medications that you may be taking to check for possible interactions. He will also look at other lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol taking before selecting a possible drug for your condition.
Buy from Reputable Sites
You should look for sites with the following criteria when purchasing medicine online:
- Are maintained by a licensed healthcare provider. The site should provide their license information together with verifiable location details.
- The medical authorities should approve the drugs that they sell in the respective countries, and the licensing information should be readily available and verifiable.
- There should be a licensed pharmacist who is ready to answer your questions. You may be having questions regarding the side effects of the drugs, dosage, or interactions with other medicine that you are taking. There should be someone to give accurate answers before you decide to buy the medicine.
- The site should have clear policies to protect your privacy. You should never share your bank information either any other financial information other than the credit card number or any other payment information. Where provided, use payment methods that require less of your private financial information such as bank wire, PayPal, and Skrill among others.
Of course, there are some telltale warnings to look for that can clue you in to the fact that the website is not genuine or reputable:
- Making outrageous claims. Avoid sites that entice you with unreasonable claims such as that the medicine is amazing, that they have the cure for all the conditions, or they will treat a chronic condition in a few days. While some of the information may be correct, there is no way of confirming that the information is correct. In fact, when it is too good to be true, it may not be true at all. Always talk to your doctor if you feel that there might be something suspicious about any claim.
- No tasking you to provide a prescription. A legitimate pharmacy will not sell you any drugs without a prescription as per the Drug & Cosmetics Act 1948 referenced by The India Times. The online pharmacy should ask you for a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional. Some of the medicines sold online are not legalized for sale without a prescription. Thus, you should provide a prescription for the same.
- Giving foreign locations that cannot be verified. Where possible buy drugs from local pharmacies. You are able to call and follow up on your order with much ease. Avoid sites that claim that they are located in places that you cannot verify.
Online pharmacies are not necessarily cheaper than brick-and-mortar counterparts. It is always good to compare prices among several companies before the purchase. You may call your local pharmacy and ask about the cost of the particular drugs first.
Check if your insurance plan covers the cost of pharmacy and prescription purchases. If not, try to find a cheaper alternative that is recognized by your insurance provider. This lowers your out-of-pocket expenses when buying medicine.
Take advantage of the Internet to get quality medicine for your condition. However, take steps to ensure that you and your money are safe in the process.