Internet access has certainly simplified our daily tasks. Shopping, for instance, is easier, faster and it doesn’t really feel like a chore if you can do it from home. Moreover, the internet has proven to be valuable for consumers seeking bargains and otherwise inaccessible products. While that is undeniably true for the larger part of the sales industry, when it comes to online pharmacies – the opinions are mixed.
Australian online pharmacies are available since the mid-1990s. In order to legally exist, an Australian online chemist must address a number of licensing requirements. That being said, here are some risks that come with pharmacies that do not comply with the required regulation.
- Fake products with no efficacy;
- Inappropriate supply of narcotics and other controlled substances;
- Lack of supervision by a doctor or a pharmacist;
- Not enough information on certain medications;
- Medication that is not properly stored;
- The possibility of expired products;
- Unlicensed premises and staff.
In Australia, drugs are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The pharmacies are registered at a state/province level, and all this is additionally regulated by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia that guides and proposes policies and standards for the safe practice of online pharmacies.
Next, let’s take a look at online pharmacies from a consumer’s point of view. An online chemist offers many convenient benefits which are especially helpful for specific groups of people. First, household patients can order from home and can get home delivery. Second, for consumers living in remote areas, having the option to order and not go all the way to the community pharmacy is priceless. And, of course, there are patients who seek more personal products and prefer anonymity.
A crucial thing for all of this to work is a strong collaboration between the doctors and the pharmacists and then between the pharmacists and the consumers. Both professionals should be aware of the products that are sold online so that the patient would not face any health risks. A piece of additional information that each patient may find useful is that most trustworthy online pharmacies require customer registration. You even need to provide medical history so that potentially harmful drug interactions can be avoided.
Besides all the possible risks, the reality is that for an increasing number of people online pharmacies will most likely become the more favoured option for purchasing medication. Just make sure that you choose trustworthy pharmacies that meet your expectations and needs.