Online Pharmacies and Telemedicine

Not a day goes by when our email inboxes usually do not fill with advertisements for prescription medications. A number of these emails promise to deliver drugs of all classes by overnight courier without a prescription. While you can find legitimate online pharmacies, and the practice of telemedicine or cyber-medicine is gaining acceptance, this change in the manner medicine is being practiced is rocking the foundations of the medical establishment. Being able to consult a doctor online, and acquire prescription drugs delivered to your doorstep by UPS has broad social and legal implications. THE WEB facilitates making drugs available to those who will not be able to afford to pay US prices, are embarrassed to see a medical expert face-to-face, or suffer from pain, the treatment of which puts most doctors in direct conflict with the ‘war on drugs’ but alternatively there’s the question whether these pharmacies make drugs open to recreational drug users without the oversight of a licensed physician.

The Need for Alternatives

Medical care in the US has reached a spot where it is expensive and impersonal which includes caused the buyer to become generally unsatisfied with the medical establishment as a whole. Examples include the huge differences between the cost of drugs in america and Canada, long wait times in US pharmacies, and poor service in general. Perhaps realizing this, US customs seems to tolerate the an incredible number of Americans that visit Canada every year to buy their medications, are you aware that most part, these ‘drug buyers’ are elderly American’s that can’t spend the money for high cost of filling their prescriptions in america.

Rather than to travel to Canada or Mexico millions of Americans are now turning to the web for both their medical needs. Telemedicine (or cyber medicine) provides consumers with the ability to both consult with a doctor online and order drugs over the Internet at discounted prices. It has resulted in consumers embracing online pharmacies because of their medical needs, and in particular pharmacies with a relationships with a physician, which allow the consumer to completely bypass the traditional brick and mortar pharmacies, with the added benefit of having their physician become an intermediary between your consumer and the pharmacy. In accordance with Johnson (2005) this is due to consumers becoming very dissatisfied with regards to dealing with both offline pharmacies and medical practitioners. As Johnson, notes, “Individuals are more prone to know the name of these hairdresser than their pharmacist.” When Johnson (2005) rated the various professions within medical care system, he found that pharmacists had the cheapest interaction making use of their patients than did any group. Today, due to this “individuals are buying 25.5 percent of these prescriptions online, opposed to 13.5 percent which are found at a brick and mortar pharmacy” (Johnson 2005).

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What has taken so much focus on online pharmacies is that it is possible to obtain virtually any drug without a prescription online. Many of these prescriptions are for legitimate purposes purchased via an online pharmacy because the buyer is too embarrassed to visit the doctor or for other reasons including the unavailability of FDA approved drugs to the buyer. These drugs may include steroids that because of their misuse and being classed as a classed a category three drugs, are seldom prescribed by physicians. These drugs have a good purpose to those experiencing any wasting disease such as for example AIDS, they also are likely involved in ant-aging (FDA, 2004).

The Doctor Patient Relationship

Today a visit to a doctor is generally brief, a lot of the triage it is done by a nurse or perhaps a nurse practitioner with the physician only dropping in for a few minutes, if at all. In many cases the patient is seen by a nurse practitioner. Among the arguments against telemedicine or even a better term is cyber-medicine, is that the doctor does not have a physical relationship with the patients and therefore is in no position to generate a diagnosis, and thus can not legally prescribe drugs.

Ironically when one compares the work up that one must go through to consult with an online physicians and compares this to a face-to-face visit with a brick and mortar doctor, one finds that the web physician, in many cases, includes a better knowledge of the patient’s condition than does the doctor who meets face-to-face with the patient. Typically before an on-line a doctor prescribes any kind of medication they insist on a complete blood workup they may also require that certain has additional tests performed, for instance.

The AMA, the government, and various states claim, however, that it’s illegal for a doctor to prescribe drugs without a valid doctor-patient relationship. While there are no laws at the moment that outlaw online pharmacies, various states have enacted legislation, or are in the process of enacting legislation to prohibit a doctor from prescribing drugs to an individual they have not seen face to face. Some states additionally require that the physician that prescribes the drugs be licensed in their state. This alone could hamper the development of cyber-medicine. In accordance with William Hubbard (2004), FDA associate commissioner “THE MEALS and Drug Administration says it is giving states first crack at legal action, though it’ll step in when states do not act” (FDA, 2004).

Internet Pharmacies

The reason that email boxes round the country fill up with offers to provide drugs of most kinds, at reduced prices, without prescriptions, and more is because people buy them as the billions of dollars the drug companies are making every year attest to. The Internet has become the drug store of choice for most.

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