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What is an Online Pharmacy?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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An online pharmacy offers a similar service to one that you might find in a local shopping mall; both of them distribute medications to patients. The difference between a brick and mortar pharmacy and one that operates in cyberspace is that the customer can place an order without having to visit a specific location in person.

A variety of people are interested in ordering their medications from an online pharmacy. United States residents who either don't have health insurance or who don't have coverage for medications are typical customers for this type of business. Instead of buying the prescription drugs they need from a local drugstore, they can often get better pricing when they deal with a virtual one.

Countries offering lower prices for medications have regulations in place to limit how much companies can charge for drugs. A person who needs a particular medication and who wants to pay a lower rate than what they would be charged at a drugstore in their own country may consider placing an order with an online pharmacy instead. Many people can save a significant amount on the cost of their prescriptions by doing so.

Ordering from an online pharmacy is a relatively simple process. Potential customers should read the instructions on the pharmacy web site thoroughly before placing an order. Many of them require a new customer to fill out an online profile before they can place an order. In the same way that a brick-and-mortar pharmacy requires a prescription from a doctor before they can dispense medications, an online version may require a prescription. If the online pharmacy needs a prescription, a customer may need to get a new one from their doctor. Once the prescription has been written, it is faxed to the pharmacy by the physician, and filled by a pharmacist who is employed by the company.

Once the order has been filled, the online pharmacy ships it to the customer directly. The customer can receive the medications they need within a matter of a few days. Each company sets the fees they charge for shipping the orders.

A person who is considering getting their medications from an online pharmacy should confirm that their order will be filled by a licensed pharmacist. He or she will also want to find out whether the pharmacy dispenses name brand drugs or generic versions. If the main reason for dealing with this type of business is to save money, it is important to consider whether the medications are actually cheaper after paying for the cost of shipping the order.

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