Is it advisable & safe to buy medicines from online pharmacy websites?I would like to have a general discussion on this topic rather than asking it as a query in the Ask Expert section.
I have been prescribed eye drops and the price is pretty steep at Rs.313/-. At somebody's suggestion, I looked it up online and saw one pharmacy site offering it for Rs.286/-. Another site said 20% discount for that day only would be given on all medicines (I know that's a gimmick to force a purchase!) but it was unclear whether the discount would apply to the eye drops.
I am reluctant to buy medicines online as I am worried, firstly, about in what conditions the medicines would have been stored at the source from where the portal is getting them. Secondly, I would like to know if, in addition to the prescription being asked for, are any identity proofs/age proof also required to be scanned & uploaded? Thirdly, since online there is no mention of the Mfg. date and Exp.date, if I am sent a product which is, say, of last year, I would not want to use it. I would prefer to use if the date is of a few months earlier only and ensure, too, of course, that its expiry date is much ahead. So if I get an old product, it will be a headache to have it returned and get a refund/replacement, especially since I need to use the drops soon with the previous bottle nearly finished.
I would prefer to buy the eye drops from a local pharmacy where I am getting it for Rs.297/- rather than online, but would still like the views of others on purchasing medicines online. Have any of you bought medicines online? Please share your experiences based on the three queries/concerns I have raised. If you have used the online route, could you let me know if these were generic medicines or specialized ones? (note - no need to give the specific names or health reason as I do not wish to invade your privacy)