Places where we purchase things have now evolved—before, we’re only purchasing medicines at designated drugstores, but now, we’re presented with online options through web pharmacies. Through the years, the market for online medications has constantly expanded, paving the way to the multiplication of shops and the medical products available on the web.
Medications online stores or online pharmacies are shops that mirror the function of the regular drugstores. These stores sell prescription and non-prescription medicines in generic and brand name form and just like the local pharmacies, they have a plethora of drugs available for the buyers’ consumption.
Despite the convenience that these online pharmacies offer the consumers, buyers are still undecided about purchasing from online stores due to several perceived risks. However, although these risks exist, purchasing medications online also has its share of advantages.
Medications Online Store: Benefits and Possible Risks of Online Drug Purchases
Online pharmacies are actually no different than the local drugstores in terms of their product lineup. Web drugstore roster of products are as robust as the product line-ups of the local drugstores but have typically cheaper prices for the medicines.
Apart from these, here are some of the advantages of purchasing medicines online:
- Affordable medicines. Online pharmacies are renowned for their cut-rate items due to their direct connections with generic medicine manufacturers. Local drugstores have limited stocks of generic products since they are typically in favor of brand-name medicines.
- Non-exclusivity to products. You can find more medicines at online drugstores since these shops tend to source medicines internationally. In some cases, the sale of generic medications is restricted at local drugstores due to patent regulations in specific countries. Bottom line: consumers are more at liberty to purchase their medicines at online shops.
- Discretion. Patients with embarrassing or confidential medical conditions can maintain their discreetness by purchasing their medicines at web pharmacies. Online pharmacies are concerned about their patients’ confidentiality by ensuring the blank labels on the parcels and the discreet credit card charges.
- Excellent Deals: Web drugstores, unlike common brick and mortar pharmacies, are able to give a plethora of buyer deals to their consumers. Buyers can enjoy free shipping, free pills, discounts for large orders, lower pill prices, loyalty discounts, and limited-time voucher codes for their clients.
- Ordering at the comfort of your own home. One of the good things about online drugstores is the accessibility to consumers. Buyers can order medicines from the online shops at the comfort of their own homes.
Whilst shopping online for medicines is quite advantageous, risks do exist. Here are some of the possible risks involved when shopping online for medicines:
- Running into fake or scam sites. Not all online operators are benign and there is a considerable number of scammers actively seeking consumers to bait. You should be able to identify the warning signs associated with fake drugstores to ensure that you’ll only use real and legitimately operating online pharmacies.
- Losing money. Scam stores will make you lose money—you can be either shipped nothing or get your credit card details stolen. Some evil online operators steal financial details so they can use the information for their own personal gain.
- Getting fake products. If in case the online pharmacies are “kind” enough to ship their merchandise, fake drugstores often ship counterfeit products. Buyers can receive ineffective items, but in some cases, they may receive products with different active ingredients, hidden active ingredients, and even contaminants.
Medications Online Store Reviews: What Do Consumers Think About Online Pharmacies?
Customer comments for online pharmacies are rather mixed and depend on the store in question. However, for all reliable web drugstores, testimonials were consistently positive and buyers are typically grateful for their service.
Some examples of good buyer reviews include the following below:
Online Pharmacy Reviews
Most consumers like “Jeri” and “Brandie Blake” above appreciate shopping at web pharmacies because they provide lower prices for the medicines and allow consumers to save a “ton of money”. Other consumers appreciate online pharmacies for their swift shipping, excellent customer support, and an overall hassle-free service.
Complaints, on the other hand, are also inevitable, and most buyers tend to complain about failing to get their orders on time (or at all), getting wrong products or incomplete items, and worse, getting fake items or having their financial information stolen from them.
Medications Online Store Legit Check
To make sure that the online stores you’re planning to purchase from are legitimate and won’t steal your money, you can do several checks like the following:
- Check the credibility of a website by using sites like the NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy), Legit Script, Scam Advisor, and similar websites.
NABP List of Not Recommended Websites
- Make sure that the stores have adequate reviews especially from external platforms
- Check if the store is young—scam sites are usually less than a year old
- Try and use the contact details on the store and make sure that a shop is responsive enough and with real contact information
- Ask around—ask forums and other consumers who have possibly employed the use of the online pharmacy in question
Medications are also available online and online stores are getting more and more convenient to purchase from compared to local pharmacies. Online drugstores typically offer cheaper medicines and other deals uncommon to brick and mortar drugstores, which makes the online pharmacies preferable than the local drugstores.
Although benefits exist, the risk of running into scam sites with counterfeit products purchasing medicines online are considerable. Because of this, consumers are encouraged to do their part and research an online drugstore well before resolving to use any shop for its bargain prices – or you can consult our List of Recommended Online Pharmacies for a roster of reliable drug sources online.
Also, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any Rx drug, regardless if they are purchased from local drugstores or from internet vendors.