Millions of US citizens import drugs every single year. At least two million packages come from third world nations like India and Thailand. For a time, the American government dismissed the notion of the online medical market presenting any real threat to the traditional pharmaceutical arena. And they were not wrong. Even today, as popular as internet pharmacies have become, they still lack the capacity to challenge their traditional counterparts in any manner that counts.
That being said, the popularity of pharmacy online shopping 2019 cannot be ignored. The industry handles billions of dollars every single year. Why do you think the FDA is making so much noise about the prevalence of counterfeit medicine sold by internet drugstores? Con artists wouldn’t have such a strong presence on the online medical landscape if the internet pharmacy business wasn’t profitable. But it is quite successful which is why so many makers of counterfeit pills are encroaching into its territory.
Unfortunately, the threat they pose has done little to dissuade people from transacting with drugstores online. In fact, pharmacy online shopping 2019 is more popular today than it has ever been. And that begs the question: what is driving the popularity of online drugstores in the USA.
Drugs and Prices in the US
The cost of drugs is a contentious subject in the US. Some people have tried to bury it but it cannot be ignored, especially when the pharmaceutical industry has reached a state where one in four people cannot afford to buy the prescription medicine they need. The American medical system is fascinating. For a time, consumer expenditure on drugs was a great cause for concern. This was especially true in 2014 and 2015 when consumer spending on pharmaceuticals skyrocketed.
Some medical professionals blamed the increase at the time on the emergence of new specialty drugs. However, they couldn’t deny the fact that more Americans were dependent on medication to sustain their lives than ever before. But then in 2017, pharmaceutical spending as a whole actually decreased. While the spending on prescription drugs, in particular, did not fall, it did not increase either. Figures suggest that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Clearly, the cost of drugs is driving people into the arms of internet drugstores. This is, in turn, forcing them to pay out-of-pocket. After all, most insurers do not work with internet drugstores.
Is Cost the only Factor driving the Rising Popularity of Internet Drugstores?
It would be easy to conclude that the rising cost of drugs is solely responsible for the interest people have developed in pharmacies on the internet. But that assumes that online firms of this kind only emerged in the late 2000s and early 2010s when drug prices became an alarming issue. But that isn’t true. In fact, many online pharmacies can trace their origins all the way back to the mid to late 1990s. Decades ago, people were still choosing internet drugstores over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. What was driving this trend? What made pharmacies on the web such a strong draw? Well, there are quite a few factors that are worth considering:
❶ Yes, drug prices are the easy villain to blame in this equation. But people forget that internet firms are not just cheap, they are also quick. You do not have to make appointments ahead of time or stand in long lines just to see a physician. The most reliable drugstores on the internet provide quick evaluations during which patients are expected to fill out detailed forms that collect their personal and medical information. It is from that information that the medical professionals who run these pharmacies generate accurate prescriptions that patients can use to treat common illnesses. Some websites have live chat mechanisms that enable patients to communicate directly with their doctor of choice whenever the need arises. This sort of easy access has made medical websites significantly attractive to people who simply do not have the time to commute to a clinic just to see their doctor.
❷ It isn’t just the time factor that has Americans so thoroughly enamored with pharmaceutical websites. You also have to consider the convenience of the whole set up. A traditional pharmacy requires you to leave your house and to travel to an actual store to collect the drugs you need. Websites will bring your medications right to your doorstep. You never have to leave your house and there is no need to undertake potentially lengthy commutes just to resolve a simple ailment. This is important for people in remote locations. Payments are also done online. There are facilities that will help you sufficiently compare the prices between pharmacies. Basically, pharmacies online make things way too easy.
❸ Some people will scoff at the idea of using time constraints and convenience as excuses for abandoning traditional doctors and pharmacies. They believe that the effort required to acquire genuine healthcare is worth it. However, such individuals are just as likely to appreciate the privacy associated with internet medicine. Internet drugstores take away the embarrassment that some people feel whenever they have to talk about illnesses that might be considered shameful. You don’t have to talk to anyone directly and you can also make your purchases anonymously. No one needs to know what is ailing you or the steps you have taken to remedy it, especially since drugs are delivered in plain packaging.
❹ People worry that the medication bought online might be counterfeit, and that is a worthwhile concern. However, it is also much easier to determine the reliability of drugs and medical professionals on the internet. This is because the best internet drugstores go out of their way to provide credentials for their staff and their products are easily verifiable through resources like LegitScript. This same convenience doesn’t apply to traditional pharmacies. Most people have to trust that their doctors and pharmacists have the accreditation they claim to have. It would take too much effort to prove that your pharmacist possesses a valid degree from an authentic university. But with internet medical ventures, such information is just a click away.
It isn’t that hard to understand the attraction of pharmacy online shopping 2019. The US government is working to improve access to healthcare insurance in the hopes that it will curb the purchase of drugs on the internet. However, even if drug prices in North America fall to acceptable levels as a result, Americans will probably pursue online drugstores regardless because they are far too convenient.