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According to The Times of India, many believe that online pharmacies have great potential, as they conveniently offer quite the range of medical supplies, literally at your fingertips. The ability to search online for just about any necessity you need is definitely a great benefit of modern technology, and nowadays, numerous online pharmacy stores such as BigChemist, are joining the roster of services and companies that are now easily accessible via a few simple clicks on the Internet.
There’s more to it, though. When it comes to utilizing online pharmacies, there are a few guiding points you should know.
A Brief Introduction
If you're accustomed to visiting brick and mortar chemists for your medical supply and prescription needs, you might find the idea of ordering online to be a bit strange. Of course, change can sometimes be difficult to adjust to, but once you're aware of some of the benefits of online pharmacies, you might just consider making the switch.
Not only do online pharmacies carry medications, but they also carry a wide range of other supplies for your health and well-being. From home medical supplies, to supplements, to diapers and contraception, you’ll find everything you need. Additionally, many online pharmacies are often run by experienced pharmacists and medical professionals who are also available to answer your questions electronically via the website. Some online pharmacies even offer points and rewards programs for frequent shoppers, saving you money and gifting you with discounts the more you shop. Just as it is with some brick and mortar pharmacies, you’ll find your loyalty as a customer rewarded by these benefits, as well as with excellent customer service that you might not expect from an online supplier.
Last but not least, many online pharmacies can offer you valuable information about medications and supplements that you purchase, such as side effects and drug interactions, according to ETWorldHealth.
The Value of Privacy and Convenience

Another main draw of an online pharmacy is the privacy it provides. There are some things that you may feel more comfortable with ordering online, rather than having to go to the pharmacy in person. For example, birth control pills are one of the most reliable and important methods of contraception, according to MedIndia. As luck would have it, birth control pills are available for order at online pharmacies. If you're not comfortable with obtaining them from a pharmacist, ordering online can save you the stress of that uncomfortable interaction. The same situation applies for men who are purchasing male contraception, or other such personal items.

Even when it comes to prescription medication, the fact of the matter is that when it comes right down to it, you just might not feel like dealing with the potential of having your privacy breached, whether by a loud pharmacist or a fellow customer who gets too close. By ordering online, you ensure that your purchases are seen by you and you alone.

Additionally, the convenience of ordering online offers benefits to those who may not have the ability to travel frequently, or otherwise find it difficult to get to the pharmacy in person to pick up medications. Ordering online can help you to avoid this trouble, and you can also order many medications in larger quantities that you would typically receive from a brick and mortar pharmacy. Having more medication on hand means that you have less to worry about when it comes to keeping track of refills or when you might run out.

Your One-Stop Source for Every Need
Online pharmacies are great for all of the above reasons, but most of all, they make it easy to purchase everything you need, all at once. This convenience trumps just about any other reason that you would use an online pharmacy. Who doesn’t love cutting down their time shopping and traveling to multiple different stores for specific items that they need? Plus, you won’t have to worry about your pharmacy being out of your medication or other home medical supplies you may need. With such a large stock and selection, you’re more likely to find what it is you’re looking for with a quick search at your preferred online pharmacy. Shopping online takes a lot of stress out of the business of finding and purchasing all of your health related necessities.

Keeping track of your health and taking care of your needs for well-being are essential. Online pharmacies can help to put that power back into your hands, by giving you a wide range of products to choose from as well as privacy and convenience in obtaining them. By utilizing an online pharmacy, you can enjoy all of the benefits and ease that come along with being able to manage your health and medical needs from home, and never be at a loss for necessary supplies. Try searching for what you need at an online pharmacy store today, and see what great supplies and services you uncover.
How e-pharmacy can empower consumers

Date : 25 May 2015,

One of the progressive technology models, which have evolved in the last few years, is tele-medicine that has enabled accessibility to the finest doctors at the tap of a button. Another recent innovation that has positioned itself as an attractive model in the healthcare space is e-pharmacy. However, the question is, if this model is here to stay?

"Today, the health space is completely dominated by multiple intermediaries/ middlemen, many of whom take advantage of the fact that consumers don't have the information at their disposal. Consequently, they are forced to follow blindly. An informed consumer will change the game," says Prashant Tandon, managing director and co-founder of, one of India's leading online pharmacy start-ups.

What is e-pharmacy: Myths and Misconceptions

Broadly three models of e-pharmacy/online pharmacy exist in the market today. It is very essential to know the difference between these three because often people misunderstand one with the other.

1. Organized e-pharmacy: There are two models which operate in this category. One is a market place model where a technology company connects neighbourhood licenced pharmacies to the end user. Other is an inventory-based model where e-pharmacy is an online service of an offline licenced pharmacy.

"Every order that is received is pruned and checked by a team of registered pharmacists. Orders requiring a prescription medicine are checked for a valid prescription. Without a valid prescription the medicines are not dispensed. The medicines are dispensed by registered pharmacists in a temper proof pack. With the most advanced technology aligned with their processes, they could keep track of each and every order. These steps can prevent self-medication and drug abuse, two major issues today. In addition, they provide important information (side effect, precautions etc.) about the drugs to the consumers," informs Tandon.

2. Non-organized e-pharmacy: In this model prescription medicines are ordered without any validated prescription. There is no check on the genuineness of the order due to absence of qualified pharmacists. Also, improper record keeping and no audit is a major area of concern.

3. Illegal international trade through e-pharmacy: In this model, drugs are shipped across the international borders without any prescription and approval from the concerned authorities. This is generally used to order cheaper version of drugs like Viagra.

These three models have been misunderstood and used interchangeably. There is lack of clear-cut guidelines around e-pharmacy which would help the public to differentiate between a genuine organized player and an illegal unorganized player. The European Union has issued a common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in the EU member states as one of the measures to fight against such pharmacies.

Similarly, the e-pharmacy concept has been specifically notified in many of the largest economies. Therefore, "it is only pertinent for India to have certain rules for e-pharmacies. With the right government intervention we can reap the rewards of technology through organized e-pharmacy channels," say the industry experts.

How e-pharmacy is beneficial to customers

An online pharmacy can effectively address multiple issues the Indian healthcare consumer and system face.

1. Consumer convenience: The consumers would be able to order medicines in a convenient manner, from their mobile or computer. This will significantly help patients who are already sick and not in a condition to go out to find a pharmacy

2. Consumer access: Online platforms can aggregate supplies, making otherwise hard to find medicines available to consumers across the country. Offline pharmacies can only keep limited inventory, resulting in a consumer having to ask multiple stores to get his or her medicine

3. Consumer education: Online pharmacies have the technology infrastructure to provide value added information to consumers, such as drug interactions, side effects, medicine reminders, and information on cheaper substitutes. The more aware consumers will always benefit from the power of knowledge, which is easily distributed through the electronic medium.

4. Data records: All medicine purchases can be tracked - effectively reducing the problem of drug abuse and self-medication.

5. Medicine authenticity: With full tracking systems and solid technology backend, counterfeit medicines can be traced back to the channel/ manufacturer/ supplier, thereby making the market a lot more transparent and ensuring that authenticity is strictly maintained.

6. Transaction records: Organized online players would have systematic records for all transactions, with full taxes paid on each transaction. A great benefit to the state considering the size of the market

7. Data analytics: Online pharmacies can store and analyse large amounts of data on consumers across the nation which can be very useful for planning public health policies

8. Industry sustainability: An online pharmacy model will enable existing pharmacies to start online operations and serve a broader set of customers, or a network of pharmacies integrating to one platform and accessing a broader customer base while also ensuring that the inventory is consolidated. "This would reduce working capital requirements, remove wastage from system and increase margins, making the pharmacy model sustainable and higher value add," says Tandon.

E-pharmacy is well aligned to objectives of national development

According to industry experts, an online pharmacy aligns very well with national development objectives and has clear and tangible benefit to consumers as well as the industry. Across the world, it has been seen that growth of ecommerce and retail are complimentary and reinforce each other. Traditional brick and mortal retailers also innovate and strengthen their operations by leveraging e-commerce to reach more consumers.

The small sector of organized pharmacy retail in India would get a huge boost and a full industry can be transformed by leveraging the internet in a smart way. Besides, internet-based transactions are well aligned to address key known issues in pharmacy retail - tracking for authenticity, traceability of medicine, abuse prevention, addressing consumption of drugs without prescription, tax loss and value added services for consumer empowerment in healthcare, which are all key areas of national development. Besides, this would also enable doctors to adopt e-prescriptions in a big way - addressing the significant issue of errors due to misreading of doctors' hand writing as well as recording of data for public health planning.

Industry experts say it is, thus, the right time as a country to define the regulatory framework to help e-pharmacy have a clear-cut operating model, in line with the concerns of the regulator, while providing benefits to the customers.
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