The pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. may look very complicated unless you’re related to it somehow. The standards imposed on manufacturers differ to the extent that one could hardly make out a fair price for a medicine needed. You can feel fortunate enough if your insurance company covers buying brand-name drugs you received a prescription for, but what if it doesn’t? If that hasn’t happened to you yet where are the guarantees that it will continue to be like this in the future? Whenever you hear about such cases do not follow “won’t happen to me” fallacy – think what you would do, instead. Thrifty Americans usually try to seek out a balanced and cost-effective solution. Amidst their searches, they are regularly challenged by a question of choice between brand-name drugs and generics. It is also unclear whether an online order of prescription drugs is acceptable and safe. This guide will address both of these issues and will help you make these choices without getting burned.
Starting off with an age-old generic vs. brand-name drugs controversy. What’s that mysterious difference between those two types of drugs? It might sound like a revelation to some, but your drugs contain a lot of things that generally do not affect you in any way. Every drug has one specific substance (or several substances) that is supposed to help you with your ailment – that’s why it’s called an active substance. Other substances include binders, fillers and a whole bunch of other inactive substances. They don’t really do much except keeping the medicine in a ready-to-use condition. An active substance is always the same in brand-name and generic drugs along with the route of administration, dosage, and potency. The variations may occur in terms of inactive substances ingested. As one may conclude, the general inactivity of those substances leads to no significant changes in the effectiveness of drugs (either brand-name or generic). There are, however, reports of rare cases when inactive components adversely affected people, but it happens mainly due to some individual allergic reactions to them. Other than that, generic drugs are identical and bioequivalent to their brand-name counterparts.
We may consider it an established fact that pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of generic/branded drugs are the same. So how can we explain a price gap between them? There are a few possible explanations and they mostly derive from a policy of a company at question. All of them have something to do with innovator’s benefits. Whenever a new drug is developed it is the result of a very costly venture undertaken by a pharmaceutical company. A research may take years as well as synthesizing of a working prototype suitable for production on an industrial scale. But even after the first batch is ready for sale the company should also provide a marketing effort to ensure a steady demand. The executives’ rationale behind these huge investments into a new product is their expectation of hefty returns. They should offset the cost and bring profits to the company. In order to incentivize innovation patent rights are granted to such firms to ward off competition. That means that an original manufacturer is granted monopolistic rights and is free to manipulate the pricing of his new product. Obviously, without competitors, the price of the drug will be largely inflated. However, once a patent expires new players come into the market, ready to sell their products with the lowest price markup achievable (which in turn cannot be afforded by big companies). That’s why the generic version of any drug would always cost less.
We come to the question of online pharmacies versus conventional brick-and-mortar stores. Again, any reasonable customer should initially follow the line of reasoning from a sales perspective. A building where a store is located has to be rented and properly maintained, and staff working there has to be paid. There also some secondary costs related to management and logistics of a drugstore. As a customer, you should expect these costs to be “sprayed” among prices for your medicine. Also, you cannot fully enjoy privacy in traditional storefront pharmacies while conversing with a pharmacist as there are other customers scurrying about.
Online pharmacies, on the other hand, are aimed at the convenience of usage. They tend to offer more advantages than local pharmacies including:
- Easily comparable prices – you can navigate many sites and find the best prices in a matter of minutes.
- No local store is able to present its whole assortment – if you are in need of some rare pills it is unlikely that you’ll be able to find them on the first try. But if you want to, say, buy antibiotics online – you’ll find a wide variety of these sorted out carefully on a webpage.
- Most of the sites have already implemented private chat features – you are able to discuss medicine options suitable for you with a specialist. This is especially convenient for delicate matters when you want to buy Viagra pills or buy Levitra tablets, for instance.
- Online pharmacies tend to follow a general trend in eCommerce coming forward with discounts and medicine purchases. Even private clinics buy bulk antibiotics from here sometimes.
At the end of the day, online pharmacies capitalize on their advantages and perks for their customers. You should be wary, though, about shady pharmacy businesses the Internet is awash with. By purchasing medicine on these sites you’re risking your health and your financial well-being. Always deal with reputable sellers such as Smart Canadian Pharmacy to ensure the quality of products bought and services rendered.