Online pharmacies have become very popular in recent years, and many people — politicians, pharmacists, and doctors alike — are becoming more and more concerned, and for some very valid reasons. Not only do online pharmacies often operate illegally and without the proper safety regulations, but they also often send out drugs that are ineffective or dangerous for patients.
Online pharmacies seem convenient, for the same reasons that online shopping has become so popular: consumers don’t have to leave their homes to shop, they don’t have to deal with long lines, the medication is delivered straight to their door, and (as with the more questionable and very illegal online pharmacies) customers may not even need a valid prescription to obtain drugs.
Although there’s an aspect of convenience that’s hard to ignore, it’s the very reason why online pharmacies are so dangerous.
Not every online pharmacy is dangerous, but consumers often have trouble figuring out which websites are trustworthy and which ones are dangerous. In many cases, the businesses operating the websites fail to specify where they obtained the drugs (often, the drugs are coming in from another country). This means that the drugs sold online aren’t always up to the standards of the U.S. FDA, and they may not be effective.
It’s also impossible to know for sure if you’re purchasing a medication online that is exactly what the company claims; many prescription medications sold online have diluted amounts of the active ingredient in order to make the drug cheaper, the active ingredient might not be in there at all, or another drug entirely could be marketed and sold under a false name — all without the customer knowing it.
The sketchiness doesn’t stop there. As you might expect with a questionable website that operates illegally, there is little to no protection given to customers regarding their personal information, medical information, and credit card number. Pharmacies today take great measures to ensure that their customers are completely protected, and it’s exactly why retail pharmacy POS systems have become so complex and so important. Without these POS system security features, it’s impossible to ensure the safety of customers.
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