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How do I get an Online Pharmacy Prescription?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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It is fairly easy to get an online pharmacy prescription. To accomplish this, a person must first find a pharmacy that offers online prescriptions. Then, the patient typically has an Internet consultation with one of the pharmacy doctors. The doctor decides whether or not to prescribe medication based on the patient’s answers. If the doctor provides a prescription, the patient may have it filled through the same online pharmacy.

To get an online pharmacy prescription, a patient can contact one of the pharmacies that offers this service, requesting a consultation. The consultation usually isn’t free. Some online pharmacies charge somewhat hefty fees for remote consultations with licensed physicians. In some cases, however, the charges may be less than that of a face-to-face visit with a doctor. Some types of insurance may not cover these types of doctor-patient interactions, so the patient may have to pay out of his own pocket.

As part of the remote consultation to get an online pharmacy prescription, the patient generally has to answer questions asked by the doctor. These questions are designed to help the Internet doctor learn about the patient’s current health status and medical history. Though some patients may feel uncomfortable providing answers to personal questions online, doing so is an important part of the process. These questions are the only way a remote doctor can learn about the patient’s needs and which medications are safe to prescribe for him.

Once the remote consultation is complete and paid for, the doctor prescribes the medications he feels are warranted. The patient can then go on to have the online pharmacy fill the prescription. This represents another expense, as the remote consultation is unlikely to cover the costs of the prescription medications the patient needs. Some online pharmacies do accept insurance, but others do not or do not accept every type of insurance.

The final part of getting an online pharmacy prescription is having the medication shipped to the patient’s home. This is a convenience that makes online pharmacies so attractive to some. There are no lines to wait in and no traffic to negotiate. This can represent another expense, however. While some pharmacies may offer free shipping, others do not.

Using the Internet to get an online pharmacy prescription is controversial. Some people question whether or not remote consultations adequately protect the patient’s health and safety. Others consider online pharmacies sub par and worry that they may not have adequate licensing or regulation. Pharmaceutical licensing laws may vary, depending on the country. In some places, online prescription writing may be illegal.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By SailorJerry — On May 01, 2012

A better alternative might be to see if your insurance company has a prescription-by-mail program. Many do, especially if you have flat-rate prescription coverage.

These are generally limited to medications that you take regularly, like birth control pills or medicine for high blood pressure or diabetes. If your insurance company has a contract with a mail-order pharmacy, refills will simply be mailed to you.

A major advantage of this system is not having to wait in line at the pharmacy every month. In fact, a lot of times you can get a three-month supply at once! There is also often a discount - you get a three-month supply for just two months' copay. My old insurance company had this and my new one does not, and I miss it!

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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