With drug prices continuing their upward trend, more and more people are choosing to import their drugs every year. The large majority of drugs imported into the country the past year have been more from countries like India and Thailand. The U.S. Government did not think that this trend would pose any threat to the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry and although the online purchases still make up a tiny percentage of drugs sold in the country, the trend seems to be growing.
The budding industry handles billions of dollars every year and the FDA and the machine that is big Pharma is taking notice, constantly issuing warning to Americans on the dangers of purchasing medication online. The FDA’s fears do have some validity since unscrupulous individuals wouldn’t be attracted to a failing market. As much as there are some con artists selling counterfeit medication, there are some legitimate online pharmacies that aim to make medication more affordable for the average American.
The Soaring Drug Prices in the U.S.
The cost of prescription drug has long been a contentious issue in America, many people feeling like pharmaceutical companies work only out to make a profit. There are a lot of cases where a life-saving drug such as insulin’s price has steadily increased and become out of reach for most Americans who need it. To the critics of Big Pharma say that the companies seem to increase the prices of drugs they know Americans can’t live without, thereby forcing them to purchase the drug at the exorbitant cost.
Some experts have blames this significant increase in the price of crucial medication on the emergence of specialty drugs. But the cost of drugs has fueled a need for affordable drugs that online pharmacies are only too willing to exploit.
Is the Cost of Drugs Driving the Growth of Online Pharmacies?
It would be easy to conclude that online pharmacies have emerged as a consequence of the high drug prices in the country. But doing so would erroneously make the assumption that online pharmacies have only been in operation in the last 2 decades. The issue of rising drug prices is one that emerged in the late 2000s and online pharmacies are far older than that. In fact, many online pharmacies have a history that dates back to the mid-1990s. So, if people were buying medication online since before the drug prices were an issue, what could be driving this rise?
One of the main reasons why someone would choose to purchase medication online is the convenience of the whole process. Unlike your local pharmacy, there are no long lines to stand it or appointments to make. All you have to do is log on to the online pharmacy, make your purchase and your drugs are delivered to you. One of the best features of the most accomplished online pharmacies is quick evaluations, where the customer fills out forms, detailing their personal and medical information.
Medical professionals then use the information they provide to generate prescriptions that the customer can then use to purchase medication for their condition. There are some websites that have also made this process much easier with the live chat option. In this case, the customer communicates with a doctor who generates a prescription based on the person’s illness.
2. Delivery (Sometimes Free)
We cannot talk about convenience without bringing up the issue of delivery. Online pharmacies offer a crucial service to their customers, further saving them a lot of time. Once you have purchased the medication you need, the pharmacy will deliver the medication right to your doorstep. There is no need to go anywhere or do anything and sometimes, under the right circumstances deliveries are even free.
Even if you value a visit to the doctor and don’t feel right buying medication from an online pharmacy, you have to agree there are some illnesses and symptoms that are difficult to talk about. In this case, an online pharmacy can prove to be invaluable. The medial professionals you talk to on online pharmacies remain anonymous allowing you the safe space you need to talk about even the most shameful of symptoms. The fact that they discreetly send you the medication you need for that ailment, your secret can remain guarded for as long as you need.
4. It is Easy to Spot Fakes
The one thing everyone worries about when buying medication online is the potential of counterfeit drugs. This is a real problem since there are a lot of online pharmacies that sell counterfeit medication. But thanks too resources like LegitScript which allows you to check for legitimate and fake websites just by typing in the pharmacy’s URL, it is becoming easier to spot the fake pharmacies. Yet, we feel the need to point out that this standard doesn’t apply to traditional pharmacies. You trust them simply because their shining neon light says “pharmacy” and it would be unusual to ask to see their accreditation or credentials.
You are always going to see the ads warning you that online pharmacies pose a threat to your health. But until the government can change healthcare policies to regulate the price of prescription medication, more and more Americans will look for a cheaper more convenient option that can only be an online pharmacy.