Best Guidelines for Purchasing Medicines Online

By | April 30, 2018

Online pharmacies, mail order pharmacies or internet pharmacies are pharmacies that operate over the internet and send orders to customers through shipping companies or mail. Medicine online shopping is becoming more and more popular these days. There are lots of online stores that help people in buying medicines online that they need that are suited for their current conditions. Online stores can sell drugs cheaper as they can serve a large clientele from one central location and cut out the cost of the network of local pharmacies. In the case of foreign online pharmacies, drug costs in the other countries are cheaper, so potential for savings is even greater. Now, you can buy medicines online just at the click of a mouse.

Benefits of Buying Medicines Online

You can simply order medicines online. You can now employ more time in purchasing products rather than going to a medical store that will take more time. Some potential advantages and disadvantages of buying pharmaceuticals online are set out as follows:

Potential Advantages

  • Price competition
  • Convenience
  • Availability; and
  • Privacy.


Potential Disadvantages

  • Adverse interactions with other medicines;
  • Obtaining inappropriate or harmful medicines;
  • Limited or no opportunity for advice;
  • Increased danger of obtaining low-quality or fake medicines;
  • Risks from incomplete information about adverse effects and contraindications;
  • No limits on quantity bought;
  • Increased danger of obtaining fake or low-quality medicines;
  • Reduction in the quality of relationships with health professionals if health conditions not discussed.
  • The possibility of increased antibiotic resistance arising from their misuse.

Guidelines for Buying Medicines Online

Do not order medical devices, over the internet unless you know how the medical devices have been manufactured and that they meet the legal requirements for use and importation in India. The following information is designed to assist consumers if they choose to buy therapeutic goods over the internet.

Consult a Health Professional First

Ask a doctor before you buy something. Medical guidance from internet should not replace consultation with your doctor and should be interpreted with extreme caution. A consultation with a doctor will:

  • Ensure one is treated with the most appropriate medical device or medicine.
  • Provide you with the guidance on how to best take a medicine, or use a medical device safely.
  • Prevent you from wasting money on an ineffective, unnecessary or harmful medicine or medical device.


Only Purchase from Pharmacies or Suppliers Located in India

Medical devices and medicines purchased from overseas are not approved for supply in India and may not meet the same standards of efficacy, safety and quality. Even if the medicine you buy has the same name as one available in India, it could retain completely different ingredients.

Check to Ensure the Particular Website Provides Adequate Contact Details

The site you are buying from should provide an Indian street address and phone number. A legitimate website will provide a way for you to talk to someone if you have any problem.

Make Sure the Particular Website Requires A Valid Prescription

To import or purchase a prescription medicine in India, you must have a valid Indian-issued prescription.

Be Suspicious of Claims

If the information sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Warning signs to look out for include:

  • Sensational and emotive phrases with exclamation marks, such as ‘miracle cure’ and ‘scientifically proven breakthrough.
  • Claims of great treatment that is not available elsewhere.
  • Claims that the product can cure incurable or serious diseases.
  • ‘Testimonials’ from famous medical experts or cured customers.
  • Greatly decreased prices and offers to supply drugs without a valid prescription.

Unauthorized Email

Commercial emails sent without prior consent of the recipient are commonly known as ‘spam’ and are prohibited in India. If you receive an unprompted or unwanted email from an online pharmacy, delete it. Spam email offers are designed to steal credit card details. Furthermore, even if one does receive one’s order, there is no guarantee of the product’s efficacy, safety, or quality.

Unregistered Website 

Drugs from an unregistered website could be extremely dangerous to your health because they may be diluted, out-of-date, or fake. An online store must receive a legally valid prescription before dispensing medicines. This means one will need either a paper prescription or an electronic prescription via electronic prescription service from one’s GP or another health professional. One can post prescription oneself if one likes, but an email prescription is not at all sufficient. Once the prescription has been received, medicine can be dispensed and sent to one.

Alternatively, some sites offer prescriber services, where an online consultation takes place, and a prescription is subsequently sent to a pharmacy for dispensing. An online consultation is legal, but Indian Medical Association opposes it and General Medical Council can prosecute for inappropriate prescribing and failing to make adequate diagnoses over the internet.



Problems come when individuals diagnose their own health condition and then obtain prescription medicine online without a prescription. The site providing this medicine is acting illegally. These are some of the crucial things to look out for:

  • Always get one’s medicine from a reputable pharmacy or outlet.
  • It is never a great idea to take a prescription medicine without a valid prescription. The medicine may not be suitable for one and could result in serious health risks.
  • Medicines must not be seen as regular consumer products. Fake medicines can cause great harm to your health.

Medicine sold from disreputable websites can be dangerous at worst and poor quality at best. What you receive in the post could be substandard, counterfeit, or unapproved new drugs, which can put your safety at risk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *