We live in a world where just about everything can be purchased on the Internet. Music, movies, clothes, and even groceries can all be shipped right to your home. Many people have also begun to turn to mail order pharmacies as a way to get their prescription drugs. However, prescription drugs are not the same as groceries. Significant health problems can occur if you get a mislabeled prescription, the wrong dosage, or a poor alternative. So, what are the pros and cons of mail order pharmacies?
The Pros of Mail Order Pharmacies
Mail order pharmacies are very convenient. You simply place your order over the phone or the Internet and have the prescriptions shipped directly to your home. You don’t have to drive to a pharmacy, wait for you prescription to be filled, and then stand in line at the register. If you suffer from a chronic condition that requires monthly medications, you can save multiple trips to the pharmacy by having your prescriptions sent to you on a monthly basis. Another benefit of mail order pharmacies is price. Because online pharmacies don’t have a physical pharmacy, just a warehouse full of stock, they are able to keep their costs low and subsequently sell drugs for a very attractive price. By ordering your prescriptions in 60 or 90 day supplies, the savings can add up pretty quickly.
The Cons of Mail Order Pharmacies
The world of online pharmacies can be a minefield if you aren’t careful. A popular online pharmacy scam is for a company to claim that it is a Canadian online pharmacy (drug prices are lower in Canada), when it actually is being run out of Russia or Eastern Europe. Often times, these pharmacies have mob ties. Even if they aren’t run by the mob, illegitimate online pharmacies often ship drugs from filthy warehouses in South America or Asia. The chances of getting a mislabeled prescription or incorrect dosage are very high. WebMD has an excellent article that can help you to find legitimate online pharmacies.
Secondly, mail order pharmacies can sometimes leave your doctor drowning in red tape. A guest blogger for KevinMD writes that at least one online pharmacy is known to send out multiple faxes requesting that doctors use specific medications, instead of the ones the doctors prescribed. Unless the doctor calls the pharmacy and clears things up, the company won’t send out the prescription, leaving patients waiting desperately for their medication.
Finally, online pharmacies don’t have the personal touch that a physical pharmacy has. You can’t talk to a pharmacist to get advice about side effects or drug interactions the way you can at an actual pharmacy. I don’t know about you, but I like the people who work at my local pharmacy. They’re always polite and it’s nice knowing that someone cares.
Hopefully our article taught you something about the pros and cons of mail order pharmacies. They can be very convenient and less expensive than traditional pharmacies, but always keep in mind the dangers of using an online pharmacy.