Online pharmacies are gaining popularity due to the discounts they offer on prescribed drugs and the ease with which they can order medicines and get it delivered at home in very less time.
The advent of the internet has revolutionized the way we lead our lives. Right from the way we communicate, work, source information, shop, and pay, the internet has left its mark at every aspect of our lives. No wonder, it has made an impact on the way we take online consultation doctor and buy our medicines as well.
The availability of the option to buy medicine online has made it possible for us to compare prices and buy prescribed drugs at the comfort of your home. However, online shopping for medicines has some cons also. Some online pharmacies may sell drugs that are unsafe for consumption or are illegal. While some online drug dealers may not follow legal procedures of selling prescribed drugs, others may even misuse your personal information.
To ensure that you don’t regret after clicking the “buy” button, you need to know the following things about online medical store:
Are online drug stores legal?
Whether an online pharmacy is legal or not depends on the country from where it originates. While some countries legalised the selling of medicines through online pharmacies, the same is illegal in some other countries. In countries where online pharmacies are legal, they are regulated by the department that registers pharmacies or the department that controls the administration of drugs in that particular country.
In India, online pharmacies are self-regulatory. However, some of the legal aspects pertaining to online sales of prescription drugs are governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the E-Pharmacy Draft, 2018. Indian online pharmacies are also members of the Indian Internet Pharmacies Association (IIPA), now known as Digital Health Platforms (DHP).
Legal Indian online pharmacies abide by following rules:
They don’t sell medicines without prescription
They don’t sell Schedule X drugs
They provide a valid invoice for each and every sale
They facilitate medicine recall upon the government’s direction.
They pack medicines in a tamper-proof cover under the supervision of a registered pharmacist.
How to identify an illegal online pharmacy?
Nowadays, more and more people are turning towards online purchase of medicines after taking online consultation, the number of fake doctors and fake pharmacies is also increasing rapidly. Therefore, it becomes crucial for you to identify illegal online pharmacies that sell drugs without prescription, unauthorized drugs and counterfeit drugs, and may put your personal information at risk.
To find out whether an online pharmacy is registered and eligible to dispense drugs, you can do the following:
You should check the registration number of the online pharmacy and cross-check it at the website of the regulatory body. The names of fake online drug stores will be blacklisted by the regulatory body.
You should check whether an online pharmacy asks for a prescription before dispatching your medicines. If not, you should avoid buying your medication from that online drug store.
You should search the internet for any complaints lodged against a particular online pharmacy. If you find any recommendations or warning, you should step back from buying your medicines from that pharmacy.
You should also check for the physical address for the online drug store. If you do not find a proper address or if the address provided doesn’t exist, you should never buy your medicine online from that pharmacy after taking consultation from online doctors.