One of benefits of drug selling via the Internet is the lower price compared to production, which is implemented by local pharmacy institutions. This is mainly due to difference of medicines’ cost in pharmaceutical markets of different countries, because many “Big Pharma players” form pricing policy taking into account income per capita. In addition, the lower medicines’ cost distributed via the Internet, is associated with overhead costs reduction. By means of some online resources you can quickly and easily compare prices for drugs of interest in different online pharmacies.
Another important advantage of online pharmacies is ability to comply with privacy or anonymity. The customer may feel more comfortable when purchasing medication or counseling via e-mail, video, or other services provided by online pharmacies.
In addition, such services use is very convenient for people with disabilities or people having busy schedule. Many online pharmacies also offer their customers alert message service on need for regular drug’s use that promotes adherence to treatment regimens.
Along with advantages of online pharmacies for its customers there are a lot of risk either obvious or hidden. Thus, it is possible to buy drugs via online pharmacy that do not have the appropriate license. These online pharmacies with high probability can distribute counterfeit or substandard medicines.
In addition, some Internet pharmacies do not properly protect personal and financial information users. It could lead to fraud on part of third parties that can withdraw means with e-invoicing users of Internet resources. Some online pharmacies do not provide information about your address or phone number, which complicates process of solving disputes, problems or complaints.
Online Pharmacies in Various Countries Worldwide
Sale of drugs via the Internet services is approved in the United States. The regulatory act «The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008» takes under control practice of online trading at federal level.
According to various estimations, market for remote sales of US medicines was about 300-400 legitimate online pharmacies that are based in the US, Canada and other countries. These companies have a license for relevant activities and in addition to Internet resource represented by local pharmacy institutions. These online pharmacies when receiving orders from customers requesting a prescription for medicines belong to Rx-group.
Thus doctor’s appointment can be obtained by means of personal or remote consultation. Not all online pharmacies in the United States provide support for remote medical consultations and, accordingly, take such prescriptions.
Most legitimate online pharmacies requests original doctor’s prescription, resulting in personal consultation. Typically, medicines’ price in these online pharmacies is lower than in online pharmacies that provide online services only with doctor’s consultation.
For the sake of demand for medicines’ access without personal visit to doctor, some legitimate online pharmacies offer service of remote medical consultations. During this consultation doctor makes his conclusions on basis of interviews and patient self-assessment of condition, and then, if necessary, writes a prescription.
As an advisory body, American Medical Association at US Food and Drug Administration issued a statement, according to which remote consultations are example of poor medical practice.
In this case federal law does not prohibit remote consultations as basis for preparations’ appointment containing controlled substances.
How are Drug Sold in Canada?
By way of acquisition medicines are divided into prescription drugs and over counter drugs. The vast majority of pills and mixtures you may buy only having prescription but there are cases when online pharmacies provide people with high quality drugs. The most popular online pharmacy is My Canadian Pharmacy – http://my-canadian-store.com.
What Medicines are Freely Sold in Canada?
In Canada you did not see variety of drugs on shelves of pharmacies. In free market – medicines for cold, diarrhea, insomnia, etc., as well as great variety of painkillers.
After receiving “cherished recipe” from doctor, we anxiously go to pharmacy and order right medicine. It is important to remember – prescription medicines are packaged and are measured directly in pharmacy of large wholesale cans and buckets. So please be patient and waiting time.
The usual answer is pharmacist: “You may take your drugs in 20-30 minutes.” but My Canadian Pharmacy will do everything in no time. if you live near by we will deliver you parcels as fast as possible moreover we carry out international delivery.
How much do Medications Cost in Canada?
Health in Canada is free. But everything, that are not covered by insurance, is very expensive. Pills are no exception. Writing out a prescription, your doctor will ask you about availability of drug plan – non-state health insurance to cover cost of medicines.
If such insurance is not present, then any disease “will hit your pocket.” Each tablet can cost $ 2-3 a piece and month course “3 times a day before meals” can cost up to $ 270, for example.
Plus, do not forget that for packaging of above-mentioned pharmacy also money is paid, one-time payment for services is $ 10-15.
Implementation of medicines via the Internet resources in Denmark is carried out via website of Danish Pharmaceutical Association. At the same time they provide a drug delivery service only within the country. In addition, the Danish Order № 171, issued by Danish Medicines Agency, allowed to use online pharmacy services, registered in EU and countries that are parties to Agreement on the European Economic Area . When you purchase products abroad, they are not subject to reimbursement. However, in this case, customers can rely on purchase of medicines at lower prices. It should be noted that in Denmark set the same prices for retail sale of medicines. Thus, one and the same drug will have the same value in all local pharmacies.
In 2004 company «Euromedicin» was founded, which operates as information trader, providing purchase of prescription drugs abroad at lower prices. The company currently uses local pharmacy institution, based in the Netherlands. «Euromedicin» offers products that are not subject to reimbursement by state, such as oral contraceptives. In addition, they signed a contract with insurance company «Sygeforsikringen Danmark». Their services are used by about a third of Danish population. In accordance with contract terms the insurance company reimburses 50% of cost purchased from «Euromedicin» medicines. On the same conditions, company is working on drugs purchased in Denmark.
By means of «Euromedicin» prescriptions transmitted in electronic form from the Danish doctor in pharmacies in Rotterdam (Holland). Drugs purchasing in such a way is accompanied by instruction in the Danish language and are paid in Danish kroner on invoice-proforma, taking into account 25% VAT rate established in Denmark.
Until January 2004, any form of drugs distance trade, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, has been banned in Germany in accordance with Section 43 (1) of Drug Law. The ban was lifted in framework of health care reform.
Guidance on rules of medicinal products implementation via the Internet was released in March 2005. The Rules regulate what information can be published on websites, while carrying out this activity, as well as introduce some exceptions, for example, some anticancer drugs and chemotherapy drugs may not be sold according to this rules. Also in rules it is defined requirements for transportation and storage.
In Germany, delivery of only permitted drugs that are approved by regulatory authorities of country or European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The main supporters of online pharmacies legalization in Germany were made by consumers, as well as some pharmaceutical companies, who saw it as opportunity for business development. The opposition is part of German Pharmaceutical Association (Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverbände – ABDA) and Association of wholesale distributors (Bundesverband des pharmazeutischen Großhandels – PHAGRO).
Distance drugs selling in Germany with delivery from abroad was launched in 1995, thus mainly oral contraceptives were distributed, which are not subject to reimbursement, among women over the age of 20. The mechanism of such activity was similar to situation in Denmark. So, recipes passed down through intermediaries in Hamburg, where they were sent to the company «Express Medical Services», based in the UK. There doctor checked information in recipe, and then drugs were sent to Germany. The whole process takes no more than 5 days. The cost of products imported from the UK, including delivery was 58% lower than in the German pharmacy.
According to Law on Supply of Medicines on medicines, distance drugs selling via online pharmacies located in the Netherlands, shall be in accordance with the same requirements that apply to local pharmacy institutions. In addition to online pharmacies oriented on Germany pharmaceutical market, the Netherlands operates a large number of companies focused on the domestic market. This allows to offer customers’ savings of 2 euro per one recipe. There are also drugs giving an opportunity to order drugs over the counter.
Sale of medicines via the Internet was first banned in this country by the lower house of parliament in February 2007, decision was reversed by the upper house of parliament after a few months on grounds what is contrary to EU law. After that, Ministry of Health has developed rules that such business activities must be carried out. So, it must be 24-hour telephone help-line, preparations should be transported under conditions that allow control of temperature, and name and information about preparation necessary to indicate outside of package for transportation.
«Apoteket» is currently the only company that is allowed to sell medicines to Sweden population. Thus, online service for sale of medicinal products is also carried out by this company.
In 2006 «Apoteket» launched a number of new initiatives, one of which was delivery service right to your door of over the counter drugs and Rx-drugs. When the patient first uses this service, he receives medical advice by phone or at local pharmacy. Subsequent consultations are held once a year by phone. In addition to ordering medicines, patients can receive online health information and to register their medical history in database.
The first online pharmacy in Switzerland was founded in 1997, though this business was legalized only in 1999, when federal government introduced amendments to article 27 of the Law on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (Heilmittelgesetz), according to which enabled delivery of prescription drugs subject to compliance with their safety requirements. Delivery of over-the-counter-drugs is prohibited. However, individual cantons in Swiss Federation authorize remote over-the-counter medications sale if drug is prescribed by a doctor, patient has opportunity to obtain necessary consultation and will be provided with adequate medical supervision during its application.
In accordance with government’s strategic plan «Pharmacy in the Future», adopted in 2000, in case of proper quality assurance and adherence to professional standards of drugs sale or delivery of via the Internet will be allowed. According to company «MarkMonitor» in 2007 more than 3 thousand sites were operating at least 570 (18%) of which were located within the country. However, officially registered sites in the UK are the very few.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society issued guidelines for online pharmacies. This organization is also developing a scheme under which a registered online pharmacy will arrange a special logo with a link to database of registered internet pharmacies.
Here is the picture relating to online pharmacies in various countries of the world so that we may see that this online business is highly popular and acknowledged all over the world. We may come to a conclusion that not all online pharmacies sell drugs of poor quality. Do not be afraid of been cheated, try to know more about this online pharmacy and command its service if it is a reliable one.