Is the E-Pharmacy Industry a Boon Or Bane?

E-Pharmacy is an online pharmacy market, becoming more prevalent these days because of its easy, efficient and private way of buying prescription and over the counter medications. E-Pharmacy companies have gained a significant response globally, India being a recent entrant in this industry. While many pharmacies are perfectly fine, there can be problems and dangers with some of them, and it is very important to choose a reliable online pharmacy.

An in-app survey was conducted on the “WhiteCoats” app to determine doctors’ opinions on E-Pharmacy. A total of 233 doctors from varying specialities participated in the survey that comprised seven different questions.

The questions asked were as follows-

Do you think E-Pharmacies will solve any problem in India? Will E-Pharmacies invite unethical usage of prescription? Are E-Pharmacies precise in the correctness of medicine delivery? Do E-Pharmacies follow strict guidelines for correct dose delivery? Do E-Pharmacies have expertise in managing different brand names and generic names? Is there any risk associated with E-Pharmacies and drug interaction? Do patients get the same level of information about adverse events while purchasing from an E-Pharmacy? All these questions were answered as either:

Yes No I don’t know / not sure Around 67% of the doctors do not think E-Pharmacies will solve any problem in India. It is the ethical duty of every pharmacist to discourage the use of inappropriate products. However, upon asking about the same around 70% of doctors think E-Pharmacies will invite unethical usage of prescription.

Good dispensing practices ensure that an effective form of the correct medicine is delivered to the right patient, in the correct dosage and quantity with clear instructions. About 40% of doctors were not really convinced with the correctness of medical deliveries by E-Pharmacies and whether they strictly follow guidelines for correct dose delivery.

On average, 34% of doctors were not really sure about how well E-Pharmacies have the expertise in managing different brand names and generic names.

It is important for pharmacists to recognize and understand drug interactions and their impact on patients. Providing safe, accurate, timely and cost-effective therapy and warning patients about the potentially harmful drug interactions has to be the legal duty of any pharmacist. Maximum doctors upon asking, however, find a high level of risk associated with E-Pharmacies and drug interactions and do not really think they provide the same level of information about adverse events.

Although, online pharmacy market is slowly gaining power, there are several challenges that they are facing and changes that could be made to ensure an efficient healthcare service.

Mutual awareness of the online purchase of medications by the patients is necessary for better patient management and avoidance of the consequences of self-medication.

To read more about this survey, Click Here

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