- 1 About Us
- 1.1 The need for alternatives
- 1.2 Drugs and society
- 1.3 The doctor-patient relationship
- 1.4 Internet pharmacies
- 1.5 Categories of internet pharmacies
- 1.6 Online pharmacies with doctor affiliation
- 1.7 A sales pitch, of course, right?
- 1.8 The dark side
- 1.9 The Internet – a new way of marketing
- 1.10 The future
Not a day goes by without our email inboxes advertising prescription drugs. Many of these emails promise to deliver drugs of all classes by night courier without a prescription. While there are legitimate online pharmacies and the practice of telemedicine or cyber medicine is gaining acceptance. This change in the way medicine is practice is rocking the very foundations of the medical establishment.
The ability to see a doctor online and get prescription medication deliver to your door by UPS has far-reaching social and legal implications. The Internet has made drug delivery easier for those who may not afford US prices. They are ashamed to see a doctor face-to-face. It is pain the management of which most doctors conflict with The US brings “war on drugs”. But on the other hand the question arises whether these pharmacies are making drugs available to drug users without the supervision of a licensed doctor.
The need for alternatives
Medical care in the US has reached a point where it is expensive and impersonal. Which has resulted in consumer dissatisfaction with the entire medical establishment in general. Examples include the large differences in drug costs in the US and Canada. After long waiting times in US pharmacies, and poor service in general.
Perhaps US Customs will recognize the millions of Americans who come to Canada each year to buy their medication. Because these “About us drug buyers” are mostly elderly Americans who cannot afford the high cost of filling out their prescriptions USA.
Instead of traveling to Canada or Mexico, millions of Americans are now turning to the Internet for their medical needs. Telemedicine (or cyber medicine) gives consumers the About us option of both consulting a doctor online. It is ordering drugs over the internet at discounted prices.
This has resulted in consumers turning to online pharmacies for their medical needs. Especially pharmacies with a doctor-patient relationship that allow the consumer to bypass traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies entirely. With the added benefit of having their doctor act. The doctor acts as an intermediary between the consumer and the pharmacy.
According to Johnson (2005), this is due to the fact that consumers are very dissatisfy with dealing with stationary pharmacies and doctors. As Johnson notes, “Consumers are more likely to know their hairdresser’s name than their pharmacist. When Johnson (2005) evaluated the various healthcare professions. He found that pharmacists had the least interaction with their patients than any other group. As a result, consumers today “buy 25.5 percent of their prescriptions online. While 13.5 percent are pick up at a stationary pharmacy” (Johnson 2005).
Drugs and society
What has paid so much attention to online pharmacies. It is possible to get virtually any drug online without a prescription. Many of these prescriptions are purchase through an online pharmacy for legitimate purposes. Because the buyer is too embarrassed to see a doctor or for other reasons. Including the unavailability of FDA-approved drugs to the consumer.
These drugs may contain steroids. Which are rarely prescribed by doctors due to their abuse and classification as a category three drug. These drugs have a useful purpose for those suffering from a disease like AIDS. They also play a role in antiaging (FDA, 2004).
The doctor-patient relationship
These days, a doctor’s visit is typically short. So much of the triage being done by a nurse or nurse. With the doctor only showing up for a few minutes, if at all. In many cases the patient will be seen by a nurse. One of the arguments against telemedicine, or perhaps a better term, is cyber-medicine. The doctor has no physical relationship with the patient and is therefore unable to make a diagnosis and therefore cannot legally prescribe medication.
Ironically, if you compare the work it takes to consult an online doctor. To compare that to a face-to-face visit to an inpatient doctor. The online doctor has a better understanding of the health status in many cases of the patient as the doctor who personally meets with the patient. In most cases, a doctor will prescribe any type of medication before online treatment.
However, the AMA, the federal government. Various states claim that it is illegal for a doctor to prescribe drugs without a valid doctor-patient relationship. While there are currently no laws banning online pharmacies. Several states have or are in the process of enacting laws prohibiting a doctor from prescribing medication to a patient that he or she has not seen face-to-face. Some states also require that the doctor prescribing the medication be license in their state.
This alone could hinder the development of cyber medicine. According to FDA Associate Commissioner William Hubbard (2004), “The Food and Drug Administration gives states the first push for legal action. But will intervene if states fail to act” (FDA, 2004).
The reason email boxes across the country are filled with offers to deliver drugs of all kinds at discounted prices, no prescription. More is because people are buying them, like the billions of dollars that drug companies make each Year earn. The internet has become the drugstore of choice for many.
Categories of internet pharmacies
It is generally accept that internet pharmacies fall into the following five categories:
Internet pharmacies can be divide into five different categories as follows:
- Licensed online pharmacies with no medical affiliation.
- Licensed online pharmacies with medical affiliation.
- No record online pharmacies (NRP).
- International online pharmacies (IOP).
- Licensed compounding pharmacies.
The licensed online pharmacies with no medical affiliation are, of course, Drugstore.com, CVV, and others. They all require a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner with whom the patient has a medical relationship. The prescription can be request from the doctor.
The licensed online pharmacies with medical affiliation are often dependent on a broker. The broker gathers your medical information and then assigns your case to one of their networked doctors. Many of these networked doctors are willing to prescribe pain relievers. Because they believe that only by using these drugs can some people live harmonious lives.
There are no prescription pharmacies in the world. Many of these websites have been discuss controversially. In some cases, filling out a questionnaire online is enough to get the prescription by the next day.
The focus was on the prescription, not the doctor. Indeed, Henkle (2002) notes that some websites have offered to recommend a doctor. “During the study, Henkle (2002) was able to obtain prescription drugs from nine locations outside the US without a prescription.
Online pharmacies with doctor affiliation
They believe that the internet emphasizes the importance of regular visits to the doctor for a full assessment of your health and any Cannot replace illnesses. “Many of these online pharmacy websites also have a wealth of drug information available on their website to enable consumers to find out about drugs that may be prescribed. The Internet has quickly replaced the inpatient doctor as the primary healthcare provider for all intensive purposes Patient.
A sales pitch, of course, right?
Most legitimate online pharmacies make sure they comply with state and federal regulations. The doctors are license in all 50 states, as are their pharmacies. These legitimate internet pharmacies are aimed at those who are looking for a better price. The bottom line for some is making the choice of eating cat food on crackers in order to be able to afford their medication due to high US drug prices.
In other cases, patients resort to cyber medicine to avoid the embarrassment of dealing with a potentially judgmental doctor or pharmacy. Many of these online pharmacies will schedule an appointment with a licensed doctor and fill out the prescription accordingly.
According to Henkel (2000), “more and more consumers are using the Internet for health reasons. Referring to a study by market research company Cyber Dialogue Inc. which found that “health concerns are the sixth most common reason people leave.” online “(Henkel 2000).
For many people, a trip to the pharmacy is an ordeal. In some cases, the local pharmacy is also in the nearest town. Which can be a long drive if you live in a rural community. Online pharmacies offer a way to deliver your prescriptions conveniently and quickly. Being online also enables the consumer to shop at the best prices. An important factor in making a living on a pension.
The internet has also created a more conscious user. It is not uncommon for a consumer to search for drugs on the internet. A consumer may have seen a television or magazine advertisement promoting a new drug. Ultimately, the Internet also offers the consumer the opportunity to enter into a doctor-patient relationship that may actually be more legitimate than the doctor who appears physically. For more information on doctors who practice telemedicine, please visit: http://www.becomeone.com
As mentioned earlier, it is interesting to note that consumers are becoming dissatisfied with the care and treatment they receive from both inpatient doctors and pharmacies. Zanf (2001) refers to a study by Lang and Fullerton in which “four factors related to outpatient pharmacy services were identified. Professional communication, physical and emotional comfort, demographics, and location and comfort”. All of this is contributing to the fact that more and more consumers are turning to cyber medicine.
The dark side
As mentioned before, the internet pharmacy also has a downside. Spam emails announcing the availability of prescription drugs that one would like to have without a prescription are something that everyone is familiar with and that has reached epidemic proportions.
From Ambien and of course Viagra to more powerful drugs like Oxycontin, you can have it all. Overnight shipping is available in most cases, or so proclaim these emails.
In some cases, this About Us pharmacy spam comes from unscrupulous people who have no intention of delivering the medication. It is realizing that very few, if any, people complain about the non-delivery of an illegal drug in the mail.
In other cases, the drugs are sent without a prescription from countries where the drug can be legally sale without a prescription, or at least the laws are looser. For example, Valium is sale without a prescription in Taiwan.
The San Diego-based operation required that individual.
The Internet – a new way of marketing
Not all internet pharmacies are banned, however, and there are many pharmacies that offer the consumer a legitimate prescription overnight. My last recipe came in the mail. The entire transaction was completed over the Internet. However, it was a prescription my doctor had personally given me. As mentioned earlier, what constitutes a doctor-patient relationship is at the heart of the online pharmacy debate. This, of course, affects what constitutes a legitimate prescription. What constitutes a legitimate recipe is a hotly debated topic.
As mentioned earlier, it is convenient for many people to consult a doctor over the phone and then have their prescription completed by an internet pharmacy. As the American population ages, more and more people will have difficulty getting to the doctor’s office, let alone driving to the pharmacy. It is clear that safeguards are needed if cyber-medicine is to improve the quality of medical care for Americans. The online pharmaceutical industry has taken a number of steps to ensure that consumers are protected from unscrupulous online pharmacy operators, including online pharmacy certification.
Unfortunately, Henkel (2000) states: “Since the VIPPS certification is relatively new and voluntary. Only a few locations have been certified so far. SquareTrade has recognized the problem with rouge pharmacies and has implemented a program to protect consumers from rouge pharmacies. According to SquareTrade. The licensed pharmacy program verifies that your business is a good pharmacy. Verified pharmacies can display the licensed pharmacy seal on their websites – and are different from unverified and unauthorized pharmacies.
If these safeguards are not in place and laws are passed making it illegal to obtain a prescription from an online pharmacy based on an online consultation. The black market for drugs will continue to flourish. Customs say they only catch about 2% of all illegal prescription drugs entering the United States.
Are you negating the fact that technology could create a doctor-patient relationship that could be affordable? As some have suggested, security could be achieved through the use of video cameras and biometric scanners. Which would reduce the number of fraudulent prescriptions written. Measures like these would make the convenience of using an online pharmacy out of reach for those without technology.
There was also no stopping consumers from using offshore online pharmacies. While the FDA is currently working hard to get the Canadian government to enact laws that would prohibit the export of drugs from Canada by mail. The profit resulting from drug sales seems to be stalling the legislation. However, as one Canadian pharmacy owner remarked, “We’re only going to move to the UK.”
Ironically, Canadians are offering to crack down on them not because of concerns about selling drugs online. But because Canada controls drug prices, making them far cheaper than the same drug in the US. The Canadian authorities plan to “argue that the system was created to help Canadians, not Americans”.
The pharmaceutical industry itself has gone so far as to blacklist Canadian pharmacies that sell to American customers over the Internet. For all terrorism-related paranoia, there is a concern that drugs coming from another country could be contaminated. There are no known cases of a consumer receiving a contaminated drug from Canada (Matthews, 2003).
Even more ironically, with all the talk about us the dangers of overseas medicines.