The internet has managed to transform so many things about our lives – the way we communicate, work and shop. Thanks to the growing number of businesses operating online, there isn’t anything you can’t conveniently purchase over the internet. Whether you’re looking for books, clothes, furniture, beauty products – it’s all one click away from your front door. And the same goes for medications and pharmaceutical products too.
The concept of online pharmacies has already been around for over two decades, however, in recent years it has gained quite the popularity in Australia. According to a 2018 report, the revenue of online pharmacies has increased by 9.8%. On the other hand, brick-and-mortar pharmacies only managed to gain a 6.3% rise in revenue. As the numbers clearly state, purchasing medications online is becoming an increasing trend.
Can You Buy Prescription Drugs Online?
Online pharmacies offer a wide range of products from supplements to herbal remedies and over-the-counter drugs. But what about prescription medication? Like all of us, I’m sure you hate waiting at your doctor’s office for a prescription and then taking the time to drive around town only to have to wait again in line at a pharmacy. And then, once it’s your turn, the pharmacist informs you that they’re out of stock. So, you have to go around other pharmacies to find what you’re looking for.
If you hate having to deal with this every month to get your repeats, I have some good news for you. Yes, you can conveniently purchase prescription drugs online. All you need to do is have your doctor issue a prescription, order the medication online, and in the meanwhile, send the original script to the pharmacy over the mail. Sending your script is done completely free of charge. Once you do so, you can elect to have repeats filed for future dispensing. This way, the pharmacy of your choice will make sure that you have your monthly repeats delivered in a timely manner.
What Are the Advantages of Buying Medicines Online?
#1 Greater Convenience
Convenience is the biggest benefit of online shopping, whether you’re buying furniture or medication. Instead of having to spend hours driving or in public transportation, you can purchase the medications you need without having to leave your home. Just like any other online business, you can find an e-pharmacy that ships to your exact location. And because of the urgent needs of their customers, e-pharmacies tend to deliver their products in express time. Buying medication online is especially convenient for particular groups of consumers. For instance, people living in remote areas without access to a pharmacy nearby can get their necessary medications delivered at home. The same goes for people who are housebound or elderly and can’t go out to buy medication without assistance. By having the ability to purchase online, these individuals can stay independent.
Did you know that many online pharmacies offer lower prices for some medications, especially generic versions? The reason they can afford to reduce the prices on some of their products is the fact that they aren’t faced with the expenses involved in running a chain of brick-and-mortar stores. They don’t have to pay a large number of employees nor do they have to worry about rent. Because of this, many of them are also able to offer free delivery. Once you consider the costs of travelling to and from a brick-and-mortar pharmacy, it’s easy to figure out that by buying medication online you can enjoy some savings.
#3 Complete Discreteness
Many people feel uncomfortable purchasing a certain product in public or discussing it face to face with a pharmacist. But when buying from a mail-order pharmacy, your purchase is done completely privately. You can even feel free to chat with the pharmacist over e-mail or over the phone should you have any questions. Additionally, online pharmacies also make sure to package your order discreetly and keep your billing information private too, helping you avoid further situations that might feel embarrassing. So, instead of shying away from buying certain things, like for instance, sexual health products at the local pharmacy out of fear of being judged, you can discreetly purchase them online.
How Can You Safely Buy Medicines Online?
As you can see, there are many advantages of ordering your prescription meds and other pharmaceutical products online, however, as with purchasing anything on the Internet, there are also potential risks involved. To protect yourself from being scammed and making sure that you buy genuine products that won’t harm your health, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recommends buying from pharmacies that are based in Australia. Their website should list the pharmacies full details, including a physical address in Australia, a working phone number, an email address and an Australian Business Number (ABN).
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, another way you can evaluate the legitimacy of the pharmacy is to check whether they ask for a prescription. Online pharmacies that don’t require you to submit a valid prescription signed by a healthcare professional are obviously a scam. Also, be wary of buying drugs from overseas. Not only is there a risk that they aren’t regulated, but they might not be allowed into Australia. If you’re thinking of buying a product from a foreign pharmacy, check whether it is on the list of drugs and ingredients that can’t be imported into Australia without permission.
A legitimate online pharmacy will also offer you the option to consult with a licensed pharmacist, whether by the phone or by email. This way, you can talk to a professional about some questions you may have – like for instance about possible interactions with other medications you’re currently taking.
All things considered, if you pay attention to these things, the benefits of ordering from an online pharmacy outweigh the risks. Considering Australia’s ageing population and a large number of people with chronic illnesses that affect their mobility, purchasing pharmaceutical products online will be an increasingly preferred option. Luckily, in Australia, the market is already dominated by the many reliable and safe online pharmacy chains, so the risk of getting scammed is relatively low.
This article has been sponsored by Megantic Pty. Ltd.
Digital Health Buzz!
Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.