Online Pharmacy Vs.Traditional Pharmacy

Which is the Better Option in the UK?

Online Pharmacy Vs.Traditional Pharmacy

The world is becoming more technologically advanced every day, most of us now turn to the internet to get all that we require. While traditional pharmacies can be dated as far back as the healthcare sector, online pharmacies have been around for only about two decades.

The decision to buy at an online pharmacy or a traditional pharmacy is becoming more delicate. In 2018, more than 25 percent of the United Kingdom residents bought drugs regularly at online pharmacies. Online pharmacy or traditional pharmacy? This article will help you decide which is the better option.

Online Pharmacies

Online or mail-order pharmacies have been around for a number of years. However, as the world becomes more technologized, many are turning to the internet to get everything they need, including prescriptions.

These pharmacies use the internet as their medium for operating.Consultancies are also carried out using the internet. People who visit online pharmacies place their orders through the website of the pharmacy and receive their drugs through the mail or a shipping company affiliated with the online pharmacy.

Cons of Online Pharmacies

Like every advancement, online pharmacies have been criticized for many different reasons. Most of the criticisms and drawbacks of online pharmacies come from the sheer number of illegitimate online pharmacies that have overrun the internet. The possible dangers of shopping from a fraudulent online pharmacy are.

  • The sale of counterfeit drugs is always a possibility
  • Sale of prescription drugs without requiring a prescription from a doctor
  • Sale of expired or damaged drugs
  • The sale of controlled drugs
  • Your personal and financial information might not be secured.
  • Scams: some rogue online pharmacies use too good to be true prices to lure customers. After purchase, the drugs may never get to the customer.

Regulation of Online Pharmacies

Shopping from a registered online pharmacy eliminates all the cons of an online pharmacy. In the United Kingdom, all online pharmacies are required to be registered in the same way as a regular pharmacy. Online pharmacies are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

A registered online pharmacy should meet the standard which is the same as traditional pharmacies. Registered online pharmacies will sell prescription drugs only when a prescription has been provided. Like a conventional pharmacy, the priority of a registered online pharmacy is the safety of the customer.

Every country has its professional agency which registers and regulates the operations of online pharmacies. Before buying a drug from an online pharmacy, it is crucial that you check if the online pharmacy has been registered by the appropriate agency.

Traditional Pharmacies

Traditional pharmacies are the good old pharmacies you would find within bricks down your street. Most of the disadvantages of rogue online pharmacy reflect the advantages of buying drugs from your nearby pharmacy. This is because it will help you avoid all the cons mentioned.

Going to a traditional pharmacy, just like an internet pharmacy has its own drawbacks as well. Some of the cons of shopping at a conventional pharmacy are;

  • Medicines are more expensive than those on online pharmacies.
  • Inconvenience: if you want to buy a drug at an online pharmacy, you would have to leave your house. If there is none close to you, that can be another problem. You would also need to get there before the closing time, deal with queues, and filling prescriptions among others.
  • The choices of drugs offered at traditional pharmacies are often limited. You would need to make do with what is offered at the drugstore.

Online or Traditional Pharmacy?

Now we have enumerated the pros and cons of online and traditional pharmacies, one would ask which is better. Well, both types of pharmacies have its respective advantages over the other. The NHS has an online Pharmacy finder available here.

Advantages of Traditional Pharmacies Over Online Pharmacies

Yes, many would want to trust the good old traditional way of getting drugs over the more modern means (online pharmacies). Here are some benefits traditional pharmacies hold over online pharmacies.

  • Faster Access to Drugs: This is one advantage traditional pharmacies would hold over online pharmacies forever, except at the advent of ground-breaking technology. It is simple when you get to the pharmacy, you get your medications almost immediately. Online pharmacies with express delivery can deliver orders under 24 hours in the same country.
  • The Authenticity of Drugs: Traditional pharmacies sell the real drug is something we all know. While this is true, there are still cases of counterfeit drugs making their way into both traditional and online pharmacies.
  • Easy Return: If you purchase a drug with the wrong dosage, somehow manage to buy more than you require or a counterfeit medicine from your local drug store it is easier to return it. The store would always be there. While online pharmacies have return policies in place, it takes days or even weeks to be processed.

Advantages of Online Pharmacies Over Traditional Pharmacies

Are online pharmacies (e.g. Pharmica) actually better than traditional pharmacies? Well, legitimate online pharmacies are in some ways better than your local drug stores. Here are some benefits online pharmacies hold over their conventional counterparts.

  • Convenience: this is one of the primary reasons for the shift from traditional to online pharmacies. Getting your prescriptions from online pharmacies do not require you to leave the comfort of your home. Just as many people prefer shopping from the comfort of their homes, so also do people prefer buying medicines from an online shop.
  • Lower Prices: a quick glance through the pricing of OTC and prescription drugs from both pharmacies would reveal that the prices of online pharmacies are much lower than what you would get from traditional pharmacies.
  • Confidentiality: this is one significant advantage online pharmacies hold over traditional pharmacies. Most people would suffer from certain conditions (erectile dysfunction, flatulence, vaginal odour, and others) often feel embarrassed about visiting a pharmacy. However, with online pharmacies, they can get treatments and not have to worry about anyone knowing about their condition.
  • Cheaper and Expanded Consultation Services: many online pharmacies offer free consultation services. Even where you pay for this service, it is still much less expensive than what you would have to pay at a pharmacy or hospital. Patients can also leverage the option to chat with a general practitioner to get more information about his or her medical condition.

The advantages stated above only apply to registered or legitimate online pharmacies. When you shop on an unregistered online pharmacy, you risk both your money and your health.

In a Nutshell

Online pharmacies are growing at a very rapid rate, and when pitted against each other, online pharmacies offer more advantages than traditional pharmacies. They offer better prices, increased convenience, and confidentiality. However, this only applies to registered online pharmacies. So, when you shop for your medications online, make sure the online pharmacy is legitimate and operating legally.

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