As with any other technological development embraced by the business world, there are positive and negative aspects to the
Internet. The same holds true whenever someone tries to buy drugs online. Websites that are set up as Internet-based pharmacy
operations can be both advantageous and dangerous to the consumers who go to them with their business. Since there are
currently only a few regulatory boards with any international jurisdiction, it is often up to the consumers themselves to
keep themselves safe from being exploited or manipulated by an unscrupulous website or online business. However, there are a
number of positive traits that most online pharmacies have in common, which do bear consideration.
For starters, the typical consumer would find that prices are cheaper when they buy drugs online. There are a number of
factors that can contribute to this lower price, such as lower cost in other countries and a lower operational cost compared
to brick-and-mortar drug stores. For those who want even more economical options, they might be pleased to find that a number
of online pharmacies sell generic versions of a number of medications that are brand-name only in some territories. This can
be useful if a person needs a specific medication, cannot afford the brand-name variety, and live in a country where the
generic version is unavailable outside of the Internet.
The convenience and anonymity of the Internet also lend themselves well to being used by consumers. Some might find it
difficult to work up the physical effort needed to get to an actual pharmacy, or live in an area that does not have one
within a reasonable distance of their home. In such cases, access to the Internet so they can buy drugs online is convenient
and, in some extremely odd cases, may actually be the only viable option. The anonymous nature of the Internet also helps
protect patient privacy, since people don’t have to show their face to place an order. Some people find it uncomfortable to
purchase medicine from a real pharmacy because they don’t want others to know they need certain medications. The Internet
helps alleviate this problem by virtue of its highly anonymous nature.
However, there are a few caveats to this situation. One concern is that even though the prices of the drugs themselves are
lower, whenever you buy drugs online, you end up paying other fees. Typically, the customer will have to shoulder the
shipping fee for the drugs. Some pharmacies add a percentage of the fee to the cost of the drugs per order, while others will
openly charge their customers the shipping fee. There may also be other fees involved in using an online pharmacy, such as a
registration fee or, for some sites, a consultation fee. Prices are also subject to change, usually without warning and with
much more frequency than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Another concern regarding online purchases is in the security of the customer’s financial information. Websites will only
typically take orders after a credit card number has been provided. Some websites may not have adequate measures to make sure
that your financial information is not obtained or misused by anyone. This same problem can extend to personal information,
such as your name and address, which you need to provide when placing the order.