The Internet was first developed to facilitate communications through the web and now has grown into a global network of computer systems that interlink many platforms and create co-relationship between consumers, businesses, academic institutions, and the government.
Purchasing medicines online is a very common affair nowadays. People from around the world are becoming aware of E-pharmacies or Online Pharmacy; it is simply a pharmacy that operates over the Internet and sends the ordered prescription drugs to customers via shipping or mail companies. People prefer ordering medicines online, rather than taking a trip to the drug store and standing in the long queue.
Most of these online pharmacies sell everything ranging from health-related products to online prescription drugs. They are lawfully legalized stores that safeguard all conventional methods that are related to prescription of drugs. Hence, given the advantages, people are more inclined to purchasing medicines or other health goods online than buying them at a drug store. Most psychiatrists for adults, children and families of today primarily offer medical consultations, which means that if you need therapy and medication you can consult them.
A few advantages of E-Pharmacies are:
Consumers can conveniently and privately order prescription drugs from online stores and avail free delivery as well.
The supplies at such online stores are enough to cater to the needs of people living in extremely far locations from a pharmacy.
Shopping online for medicines can help save a lot of money. Many surveys have shown that almost one-third of the actual price of the medicine can be saved if purchased online.
Online pharmacies offer conveniences because these are one-stop shops for all your medical needs. Customers can even compare prices before placing their orders.
Access to written product reviews and information is easier because it is very easy to obtain than in traditional pharmacies.
Most of these online stores are legally approved to sell medicines and drugs. If you do not have a prescription, you will need to fill out a questionnaire. This questionnaire will be reviewed by a certified doctor before dispatching the drug.
Along with E-pharmacies, e-prescribing has been growing rapidly as well, not only due to technology and e-pharmacy evolving, but also the important benefits to doctors and patients all around the world. It has rapidly evolved in the last decade to accommodate the complexities and growth of healthcare. Most of the modern nations now allow e-prescribing, including the electronic prescribing of controlled drugs.
Initially, prescription error and patient safety were major areas of concern in the field of modern medicine and healthcare. Hence, e-prescribing was introduced to counter these issues. At first, it presented major challenges like resistance from medical providers and pharmacists because e-prescribing screened drug-to-drug interactions dosing accuracy and drug allergies to provide formulary and generic equivalent preferences.
Some major advantages of E-Prescriptions are:
Safety of the patient
Patient safety is the most important aspect of the medical world. Diverse drug events (ADE) around the world can lead to millions of dollars being spent on health care. Some errors that can be avoided in written prescriptions include misinterpretation of order because of illegible handwriting, the omission of information, duplication of therapy, incorrect dosage, dosage form, or drug, etc.
If these mistakes are identified, this would lead to additional communication between the provider and the pharmacist, thereby further delaying patient care. Failure to identify drug-drug interactions or drug allergies also increases the chances of ADE.
Most e-prescription software is fixed with point-of-care decision support system that can notify potential errors in prescription before transmission. The program instigates the provider to check and verify drug-drug interactions, confirm dosage accuracy, verify allergies, etc. Some supplementary features that increase the probability of the provider are formulary decision support, access to insurance information, etc.
Automated medical decision support
There are many drugs in the world that needs to be in multiple forms and strengths. E-prescribing removes the guesswork by pharmacists and fills out the frequency, route, strength, and dosage information. This also includes duplicate therapy alerts and dosage checking.
Most e-prescription apps use selected parameters and standard drug dictionaries and contain required fields. All these factors help reduce risks that can accidentally take place while filling and generating prescriptions.
Prescription tracking fulfillment
In the case of handwritten prescription, there is no effective way to know whether the prescription has been filled or not. Many times, patients lose the prescription paper, can’t afford the medicine, or simply forget to fill the prescription.
E-prescription allows the doctors to verify whether the patient has filled his/her prescriptions and help counsel patients on medication management. Doctors gain an insight into how many medicines the patient is consuming, thereby spotting and reducing potential drug abuse.
Reduces the number of lost prescriptions
In the case of paper-based prescriptions, it is very easy to forget or never be filled. Most of these prescriptions end up re-written or called into the pharmacy. E-prescriptions cannot be misplaced physically and can be sent directly to the pharmacy.
Enables doctors to prescribe controlled drugs in a single work sequence
Some E-prescription software allows providers to send electronic medication for controlled drugs to mail-order pharmacies within the same flow of work used for legend drugs smoothly. This makes work more effective, efficient, increased convenience for patients, and maintains medication adherence.
Maintenance and access to prescription records
In events like natural disasters, keeping a record of e-prescriptions is invaluable. Pharmacists and doctors will be able to retrieve medical records in such cases where local medical institutions and pharmacies have stopped operating.
For example, in the case of Hurricane Katrina, medical help and support were working continuously because medical records were obtainable and medical experts were able to records of medications, thanks to the electronic storage of prescription records.
E-pharmacies keep a record of all e-prescriptions, which means each buys or sale can be tracked down. Medical facilities have improved by leaps and bounds and are currently being used for the greater good of mankind.
Of course, there are also some cons when it comes to e-pharmacies and e-prescriptions. But, the pros outweigh the cons by miles. Evolution of medicine will ensure the longevity of the human life and will someday, perhaps, eradicate deadly diseases as well.