How To Buy Meds Online Safely

How To Buy Meds Online Safely

Statista reveals interesting statistics about the growth and evolution of online pharmacies. As of 2020/21, there were 372 online pharmacies in the UK, which is actually down from 390 in the years prior. That’s not to say there’s an issue with online pharmacies – the number of physical pharmacies has declined over the years, unlike online pharmacies that are on a steady increase with the odd fluctuation.

There’s also a notable increase in prescriptions dispensed through online and physical pharmacies – in 2020/21, over one billion prescriptions were dispensed in total. That was a figure by Statista that reported 2.3 thousand pharmacies in the UK dispensed over ten thousand prescriptions a month.

As people turn increasingly to doctor Google, it would seem many are exploring the option of online prescriptions and GP consultations to bypass the ever-growing waiting times for local GP’s. However, there are some risks and considerations we’ll discuss below.

The Regulatory Bodies to Look Out For

The most prevalent risk you’ll come to learn throughout this article is that an unlicensed and unregistered pharmacist or online pharmacy is a major risk factor. Regulatory bodies and registry councils are the green light you need to know that an online pharmacy is safe to use.

The two stamps of approval you’re likely to notice first will come from the Care Quality Commission and General Medical Council – something you will only find on the most trustworthy sites, like Anytime Doctor website. The Care Quality Commission regulates, registers, and inspects healthcare services across England and awards them a rating from poor to excellent. The General Medical Council is the governing body for registered doctor’s – any medical doctor must be registered to the GMC to practice in England. They produce explicit standards and regulations for practice and prescribing that ensure patient safety.

The other you may see is the General Pharmaceutical Council that governs all registered independent prescribing pharmacists. All online pharmacists must be registered to the General Pharmaceutical Council, but you might have to search through the website to find confirmation. Alternatively, you can go to the General Pharmaceutical Council website and search for the registered prescriber you’re considering using.

No Consultation, No Prescription

Before buying any medicine is dispensed from an online pharmacist, you need to have a consultation with a pharmacist or a registered doctor. That might be a telephone or video call to discuss the problems you’re having and how they might be able to tell you. A registered professional might also suggest investigations before treatment.

If you go to an online pharmacist who is prepared to dispense any medication to you without an initial consultation, it’s a no-go. Yes, it sounds easier to skip that part entirely, but you can’t be sure that what they prescribe you will work, is the correct dose for your weight and age, and that it’s a legitimate drug.

Warning Signs to Look Out For

No consultation is one warning sign, as is a lack of regulatory body approval. Other warning signs include a lack of online reviews or an overwhelming number of bad reviews. You might also see some websites selling medication at a ridiculously low price – that’s a red flag.

You should be able to gauge the quality of an online pharmacy through the website designs, a clear display of regulatory body approval and registry, great reviews, and a professional service that starts with a consultation and ends with the right prescription for your ailment.

The Risks and Benefits of Buying Prescriptions Online

There’s an element of risk to nearly everything we do in life – buying prescriptions online are no exception. How many mistakes do you think an unlicensed website or pharmacist is likely to make? The risk is far too high. Thus, the primary risk is using a website that is not legitimate. Always go to trusted websites with the various regulatory bodies’ seal of approval.

The benefits of buying a prescription online from a registered and licenced pharmacy are excellent. They cut out the need for face-to-face contact, which some people are wary of post-pandemic. According to NHS England, the average waiting time for a GP appointment is ten days – a waiting time some people can’t afford. Most online pharmacies can accommodate same or next day consultations with next day prescription shipping, thus, another benefit.

Buying prescriptions online is a growing trend fuelled by people already willing to search and diagnose themselves online. People in England are turning to the internet for support, guidance, and ultimately online prescriptions that cut out the somewhat lengthy process of waiting for a local GP. Following the advice above should keep you safe online if you wish to start ordering prescriptions through an online pharmacist.

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