Since the introduction of the Internet, there was a revolution in the way that goods are marketed and sold to consumers. Pharmaceutical products are no exception, and on-line pharmacies or Internet pharmacies have arisen in response. Online pharmacies are businesses which sell medications including those that need a prescription, on the net. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 US consumers have purchased pharmaceutical medication on-line.
Net sales of medication have grown rapidly, frequently driven by the lower cost of on-line pharmacies. It can’t be doubted, however, that a high level of ethics is required to maintain health standards and satisfy the ethical obligation to provide optimal care for patients.
Reasons For the Trend towards Online Pharmacies
Research has revealed that prescription medication are available on the web without a prescription. Would users shift to this non-traditional direction of providing their legitimate need for a prescription medication, from the accepted system of a doctor’s office visit, obtaining a prescription and getting it filled in the neighborhood pharmacy? In a great deal of cases, the practice of obtaining and filling a prescription was seen as less economical and troublesome than purchasing the same medication on-line. The medical system was seen as less responsive to the patient’s needs in the sense of not providing sufficient doses of the required medication. Anonymity was another consideration.
Risks and Benefits
There’s without doubt that on-line shops can be of benefit for patients in some instances. This is especially for men and women that reside in areas, or for those that can have difficulty in gaining access to some traditional neighborhood pharmacy. Online pharmacies can also increase convenience of purchase of drugs, and have an economic benefit for many consumers, regardless of location.
Nevertheless, on-line pharmacies are not without their very own risks. Of particular concern is the high incidence of counterfeit or sub-optimal quality pharmaceutical products sold on-line, when compared to some neighborhood pharmacy. In addition, the pharmacist-patient interaction is less focused or non-existent in an on-line environment, which could possibly result in uninformed patients and increased likelihood of medication errors.
Similar to some other business, the success of an on-line pharmacy hinges on the satisfaction of the patients that make use of their solutions, because this alone can ensure the ongoing viability of the business. There are various facets which are essential to provide a positive client experience:
- Product cost and availability
- Quality of maintenance
- Customer support
- Patient information
It’s feasible for these areas to be managed optimally by an on-line pharmacy if appropriate care is taken to address the requirements of the patients to the identical level, and also to keep the quality of care, which has traditionally been provided by community pharmacists. When customers are pleased with the service, they’ll be more prone to seek further attention; whenever they’ve a negative experience, the success of the on-line pharmacy is constrained.