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Internet Pharmacy: Your Access to a World Wide Web of Medicines

The Internet pharmacy industry has shifted rapidly in just a short time span. As the demand for and the cost of prescription drugs rise, many consumers have turned to the Internet to purchase drugs — and hopefully, get better deals.

There are hundreds of pharmacies that have begun operating over the Internet since about the year 2000. Many of these pharmacies are, in some ways, similar to community pharmacies although the main difference is the method by which the medications are requested and received. Some customers consider this to be more convenient than traveling to a community drugstore.

More and more often, consumers are turning to the Internet not just for health information but to purchase health care products. Like other health care promotions on the Internet, the availability of prescription drugs via online pharmacies offers potential benefits to consumers, foremost of which are convenience and value for money. An internet pharmacy appears to operate in essentially the same manner as mail order pharmacies and keeps with the standards of state licensing authorities.

While an internet pharmacy only sells prescription drugs, some do not require a pre-written prescription. Some customers order drugs from such pharmacies to avoid the inconvenience of visiting a doctor or to obtain medications which their doctors were unwilling to prescribe. These websites employ their own in house physicians to review the situation and write a prescription accordingly.

Once consumers go through an internet pharmacy, it will give them easy access to a world wide web of reputable companies, products and price comparisons. It also gives them access to those that aren’t so reputable. They can even reach some doctors who prescribe medicines over the Internet.

Any time a consumer plans to order medicines online, they have to make sure that they are getting quality products from reputable sources based on the prescription from their personal physician. Online pharmacies have actually reinvented the method of shopping physically in retail pharmacies for both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Just by typing in the name of a drug into the search box of an internet pharmacy website, all available information about that drug will be made available at the fastest way possible rather than going to several drugstores to canvass the most reasonable price. One would also be able to avoid any discomfort or embarrassment that comes with asking about or buying certain medicines or products in public drugstores. Moreover, one would be spared of the inconvenience of heavy traffic and long lines that one has to endure when going to local pharmacy in a busy city.

Though internet pharmacy is no doubt very convenient, an internet pharmacy should adequately protect a consumer’s personal and financial information. The site’s privacy policy should ensure that personal information is not shared with third parties. Online financial transactions should be secured by adequate encryption technology. The site’s address and telephone number should also be clearly displayed. An online buyer should also check for additional fees that are typically added to the drug price. Altough it often rare for companies to charge extra, some online drugstores may collect a standard shipping fee, medical fee, order fees, and/or an account set-up fee.

No doubt, the Internet offers significant consumer benefits in the form of greater and easier access to detailed health information, as well as more convenient, and often cheaper, access to health care products and services.

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