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Insurance Article

Things You Should Be Knowing About Online Pharmacies

September 26 2019

Online pharmacies are gaining popularity due to the discounts they offer on prescription drugs and the ease with which one can order medicines

online pharmices

The advent of the internet has revolutionised the way we lead our lives. Right from the way we communicate, work, source information, shop, and pay, the internet has left its mark on every aspect of our lives. No wonder, it has made an impact on the way we consult a doctor and buy our medications as well.

The availability of the option to buy medicines online has made it possible for us to compare prices and buy prescription drugs from the comfort of our homes. However, online shopping for medicines has some cons too. Some online pharmacies may sell drugs that are unsafe for consumption or are illegal. While some online drug dealers may not follow legal procedures of selling prescription drugs, others may even misuse your personal information.

To ensure that you don’t regret after clicking the “buy” button, you need to know the following about online medical stores:

Are online drug stores legal?

Whether an online pharmacy is legal or not depends on the country of its origin. While some countries have legalised the selling of medicines through online pharmacies, the same is illegal in some other countries. In countries where online pharmacies are legal, they are regulated by the department that registers pharmacies or the department that controls the administration of drugs in that country.

That being said, in India, online pharmacies are self-regulatory. However, some of the legal aspects pertaining to online sales of prescription drugs are governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the E-Pharmacy Draft, 2018. Indian online pharmacies are also members of the Indian Internet Pharmacies Association (IIPA), now known as Digital Health Platforms (DHP).

Legal Indian online pharmacies abide by the following rules:

  • They don’t sell medicines without prescription
  • They don’t sell Schedule X drugs
  • They provide a valid invoice for every sale
  • They facilitate medicine recall upon the government’s direction
  • They pack medicines in a tamper-proof cover under the supervision of a registered pharmacist

How to identify an illegal online pharmacy?

TAs more and more people are turning towards online purchase of medication, the number of fake doctors and fake pharmacies is also increasing rapidly. In this light, it becomes crucial for you to identify illegal online pharmacies that sell drugs without prescription, unauthorised drugs and counterfeit drugs, and may put your personal information at risk.

To find out whether an online pharmacy is registered and eligible to dispense drugs, you can do the following:

  • You should check the registration number of the online pharmacy and cross-check it at the website of the regulatory body. The names of fake online drug stores will be blacklisted by the regulatory body.
  • You should check whether an online pharmacy asks for a prescription before dispatching your medicines. If not, you should avoid buying your medication from that online drug store.
  • You should search the internet for any complaints lodged against a particular online pharmacy. If you find any recommendations or warning, you should step back from buying your medicines from that pharmacy.
  • You should also check for the physical address for the online drug store. If you do not find a proper address or if the address provided doesn’t exist, you should never buy your medicines from that pharmacy.

What are the advantages of buying medicines from online pharmacies?


1. You can get medicines at discounted rates

In India, the medical inflation is increasing at a rapid pace. The rising price of medicines has made it difficult for many people to buy complete course of medication prescribed by their doctor. This is where online pharmacies can emerge as the saviour.

Online pharmacies offer medicines at a discounted price, which allows you to purchase the entire course of medicines without exceeding your budget. This feature is especially helpful for those with limited income. All you need to do is present a copy of your prescription at the online drug store, and your medicines will be delivered at your doorstep.

2. You can order medicines conveniently

Another advantage of online pharmacies is that you can order all your medicines simply by downloading a mobile app from the convenience of your home. Further, elderly people and frail or disabled individuals, who are homebound, can gain significantly by ordering their medicines from online pharmacies.

Additionally, if you are on some rare medication that is hardly available at physical stores, you can buy it online easily without any hassle.

3. You can learn more about your medications

While ordering medicines through online pharmacies, you can also browse for some basic information on them. So, if you have any questions regarding the medicines prescribed by your doctor, you can get the answers from an online pharmacy. You can also consult a licensed pharmacist associated with an online pharmacy to know more about a specific drug.

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