It is safe to say that the opportunity to consult with a doctor and receive prescription medication over the internet has changed the face of medicine in the UK. But how much do you know about online pharmacies? Read on for 10 facts that will help you understand what medicines they provide and the difference between ethical online pharmacies and all the rest.
- The internet is full of illegal, unregulated so-called online pharmacies and medical websites. These are often connected to groups of unregulated doctors, which means that one must use care when choosing an online chemist.
- Websites that are not properly regulated might provide fake medicine that could be harmful to the patient’s health. The medicine may have been manufactured in substandard conditions, and cannot be trusted to be safe or effective for treatment.
- Only a select few online chemists are regulated to provide online prescriptions in the UK. Although it may seem like there are many options, in truth some will not meet the proper standards. Dr Fox is one of just a few in the UK that are authorised for online consultations and online prescriptions.
- Legitimate online clinics are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. This regulation assures patients that the clinic meets standards regarding who can legally provide online prescriptions and how the service is provided.
- The pharmacy that dispenses the medication for an online pharmacy should be regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council, to ensure that only genuine medication is used to fill the prescriptions. The regulations also specify that the appropriate checks must have been carried out and adequate information must be provided before the medicine can be supplied.
- Online pharmacies and clinics are capable of providing a large amount of information on the medicines they supply. Pharmacists on the high street can provide information as well, however they are limited in terms of the depth of information they can transmit during a short consultation. Online pharmacies allow the patient to research at their own pace.
- Online clinics usually work on the lower end of the treatment spectrum, providing mainly low toxicity medication. They offer the convenience of an online consultation, which saves time and energy.
- Another significant benefit of online pharmacies is that they usually provide the medication at a lower cost and in greater quantities. They can supply medications for existing prescriptions after receiving the prescription from the patient by post.
- Some patients also benefit from the anonymity offered by an online consultation, which allows them to avoid having to describe an embarrassing health condition such as erectile dysfunction to their GP.
- Online pharmacies sometimes provide medicines that are rationed or not often prescribed by the National Health Service, such as medication for hair loss and cream to reduce the growth of facial hair in women. It is also possible to obtain certain non-prescription medicines through an online pharmacy.
Browse the Dr Fox Online Clinic and Pharmacy website to learn more about certain illnesses and medications available with an online consultation. You can also take an inside look at how Dr Fox offers online medicines ethically by clicking here.