Cheap Medicines Online – Is it Worth It To Buy Them?

Healthcare inflation has led many people to patronize cheaper drugs. The cheapest substitute to branded medicines is generic drugs. If the doctor recommends a specific branded medicine, one can request for a generic drug with the same effect. Generic drugs are grouped under over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pill categories. The Congressional Budget Office of the United States reports that consumers saved $8 to $ 10 billion every year by buying generic drugs.

Unlike the manufacturers of branded medicines, generic drug pharmaceuticals do not spend for for development and research. Roughly $32 billion is the cost of developing new drugs, as reported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The average cost to develop one drug is $897 million, according to the Boston’s Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. These figures explain why new branded drugs are very expensive.

Generic drugs are more inexpensive because they no money is spent on research and development. The generic medicines are created upon the expiry of a branded drug’s patent. The patent’s expiry lets numerous pharmaceutical companies to produce and sell a generic version. As the competition increases, lower-priced drugs sell more. Although the prices are lower, the generics must use the same active ingredients as the branded counterpart. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked to make sure that all generic drugs meet their standards.

Generic medicines are available at online pharmacies. These pharmacy sites offer inexpensive quality medicines. However, buying medicines online comes with many risks. Some of these websites are fraudulent sites that do not deliver quality-control medicines. Most of these companies are not even recognized by the US FDA, resulting in customers consuming unsafe drugs from unauthorized pharmacies.

It is imperative to scrutinize the pharmacies selling cheap medicine online. Although these online drugstores offer prices lower than local pharmacies, it is more important to ensure that the products are secure for consumption. It It is more costly to visit a doctor in order to be cured from a fake medicine’s side effects than purchasing more costly but more effective and less harmful drugs from reputable pharmacies.

Opting to buy cheap medicines online comes with its pros and cons. In order to be safe, it is advisable to consult online pharmacy review sites. User comments from these sites will determine the credibility and reliability of the pharmacy’s products and services. It is also important to confirm that the reviews are from actual individuals who have experienced making business with a specific online pharmacy.

The Economic Implications of Buying Drugs Online

Although the Internet is fairly new (at least to the mainstream) online shopping has grown by leaps and bounds. Now you can buy almost anything you need, from food to fishing equipment, right through your computer. Of course, this has meant that commerce has been forced to adapt to the changing consumer landscape and some industries have been scrambling to catch up with the crowd. It is no different for the pharmaceutical industry as online pharmacies appear to be popping up everywhere you turn. The prevalence of online pharmacies is a hot topic, especially when it comes to foreign-based companies selling prescription and non-prescription drugs to Americans for lower, more affordable prices. But in addition to foreign-based online pharmacies are a growing number of U.S. based companies offering medication to Americans – making it easier and more convenient to receive much needed prescription drugs.

What impact does this reality have on the drug industry in general and are the changes positive? The answer depends on what aspect of the industry you are involved in. Essentially, pharmaceutical companies who sell their products through traditional brick-and-mortar operations are worried that online pharmacies are only going to keep growing – taking a large bite out of their piece of the pie. For the most part, although the FDA and the big drug companies talk about safety issues and the legality of cross-border drug transactions, it really all comes down to money. It’s no wonder many companies, such as Pfizer, are threatening to restrict supply to Canadian pharmacies that sell discounted drugs to Americans in an effort to scare these pharmacies out of their revenue stream.

Trends do seem to point in the direction of continual growth unless something happens to dampen the excitement the online pharmaceutical industry is currently experiencing. Since the 90’s the industry has continued to flourish. For example, sales of Canadian drugs to U.S. citizens alone have skyrocketed over the billion dollar mark in the past few years and all signs point to this trend enduring. In addition, although these numbers only represent a dollar volume of 0.35% of the total annual U.S. prescription drug market, if Americans continue to use online pharmacies to fill their prescription drug needs it will have a big impact on the industry as a whole. And of course, countries such as Canada are enjoying the benefits of a large consumer base that has a reason to bring their business north. Many American online pharmacies even offer customers the option of obtaining Canadian drugs for lower prices through their sites. As you can see, people are being given more choices than ever before when it comes to buying prescription medications. Much of the power to control drug prices is slowly being taken away from the pharmaceutical companies and put into the hands of the people that matter the most – the consumers.

Organized pharmacy groups are beginning to voice concern over the practice as they see the economic consequences of such a trend, and the whole idea of drug distribution, as well as how certain goods, services and funds are transferred across the border. The main reason many people are flocking to online pharmacies is to save money. If the pharmaceutical industry wants to stay on top of things and keep customers buying the drugs they need through U.S. sources, they will need to change with the times by facilitating the introduction of more online pharmacies that cater to the U.S. market from within the U.S. They will also need to be open to more competition within the marketplace, and most importantly, make it more affordable for the average American to purchase the prescriptions they require.

It is clear that online pharmacies, both foreign and those based in the U.S., are in a position to benefit from an ever-increasing amount of business. Individually, consumers save money on drugs and can afford to put more money into the economy through other industries. Online pharmacies usually offer more choices especially in the way of generic drugs, and make it extremely easy for patients to obtain the prescription drugs they seek. Some senior citizens find it more convenient to shop online than venture out to the local pharmacy. At the same time, most people still choose to go the traditional route and buy their drugs in their own neighborhood, which still takes up the largest part of the market.

While online pharmacies are growing at an exponential rate, it will still be some time before a major shift from buying locally to buying online occurs that will drastically alter the way the pharmaceutical industry functions. In the meantime, consumers will no doubt continue to consider the options that are most economically beneficial to them.

The Market For Medication Purchases Online

The prescription medication market is enormous and includes millions of Americans who go online to get information about the medicines they consume.

According to the new Pew Internet & American Life Project “Prescription Drugs Online” report, 64% of American households contain a regular user of prescription drugs, and one in four Americans (26%) has used the Internet to look for information about prescription drugs.

However, just 4% of Americans have purchased prescription drugs online, because, simply, most Americans do not fully trust the online prescription drug marketplace.

While 62% of Americans think purchasing prescription drugs online is less safe than purchasing them at a local pharmacy, only 20% think online purchases are as safe as local purchases. The remaining 18% responded that they did not know or that it depends on the situation.

Studies show people purchase drugs online, even though the sample size was small, Americans who have ordered prescription drugs online cited convenience and cost savings as the main reasons why they decided to take the leap. Privacy was the least likely factor of the choices offered in the survey.

When asked about the last time they purchased prescriptions online, the majority of Rx purchasers said they visited a site that was based in the United States, and only a few visited a site based in another country. In addition:

— Three-quarters of Rx purchasers said the last time they purchased drugs online, they bought a drug for a chronic medical condition such as high blood pressure or arthritis.

— One-quarter said their last purchase at an online pharmacy was to aid weight loss or sexual performance.

— Most were satisfied with their last contact with an online pharmacy and plan to order medication drugs online in the future.

The trend for medication purchases online does show promise, however it will take time for realistic numbers to show actual results.

Drawing an analogy to the growth in another large online category, the report stated online researchers who research a product online often become customers.

The conclusion does draw evidence that convenience is the major factor motivating online purchases of medication.

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