Do you have a prescription that you regularly fill? Did you know that you can save some money by buying online? The internet has made access to high quality goods easier than ever before and this includes prescription drugs. However, filling that script will be a little different than running down to your local pharmacy. A variety of reasons including government regulations, marketing efforts from drug companies, and differences in how drugs are manufactured all play a part when ordering online. Read on to learn the three biggest differences when buying your medicines online so there aren’t any surprises:
Different Brand Names
If you’ve ever purchased prescriptions online you might be surprised to learn that the pharmacy got your order wrong. Don’t panic. Many drug companies market their drugs under different names in different countries. A common example of this is the drug Zyrtec or Reactine. In the United States this drug is known by name Zyrtec but in Canada the common name is Reactine. Each pill contains the exact same ingredients, the only thing that is different is the name.
Next time you receive an order keep in mind that the name of the drug simply may be different in other parts of the world. The pharmacy most likely did not get your order wrong if you ordered from a reputable company that is licensed. Remember, these are pharmacies just like the one down the road and must keep strict guidelines in order to operate.
Prescriptions Filled From Other Countries
In order to offer competitive prices online drug companies will often source their products from outside of the country they are based. This is a common practice even in brick and mortar pharmacies. An online pharmacy will often affiliate with manufacturers in other countries then resell those products. They are legally able to do this because they are licensed and the quality of the products and safety standards have been maintained.
For example, you may purchase a medicine from an online pharmacy licensed and registered in the United States. While the pharmacy products are being sold by an American company the source of the specific drug you’re buying may be the European Union, India, or many other places. This simply means the drug was manufactured somewhere else other than where the company you’re purchasing the drug from is based. You might be surprised to learn that many medicines sold are manufactured in this way.
Why Does It Take So Long?
If you’re in a hurry to fill a script it would not be advisable to order online. You want to make sure to order about two to three weeks in advance to allow for shipping and customs inspections. Besides making their way around the world, packages from overseas must comply with international rules when are shipped into other countries. This means that your order may take longer than usual. This delay can add several days to a shipment’s arrival date.
Because of the sensitive nature of having access to medicine when you need it, ordering drugs online would only be appropriate when you have time to allow the package to arrive. Usually this is not a problem as ordering can be automated so that billing and shipment go through automatically for a regular prescription. Many online retailers offer this option to make things convenient for you. As with any online business, make sure the company offers some form of support such as a customer service phone number or online chat. This will ensure any problems you encounter are resolved in a timely manner.
Since the variety of companies selling prescriptions online is so large it is difficult to generalize about all the problems one could possibly encounter. Companies in different countries have different regulations to maintain. In general, make sure that the pharmacy you use is licensed and has a good reputation. Perform searches for the company and read reviews on other sites to make sure that everything checks out. In general, if the business has been around for several years it is likely a good choice.
Remember, these are pharmacies just like any other so if something seems fishy or they didn’t ask you for a key piece of information you might want to do some more research. Overall, buying online is very safe and is a great way to save money on prescriptions.
Jessica Thomas is a writer and professional photographer living in Los Angeles. She often writes about Pharmacy, Drugs, Skin Care etc for Northwest Pharmacy which is a leading Online Canadian Pharmacy & International Drugstore. Her favorite hobbies include hiking, reading fantasy fiction, and still-life drawing.