Generic Drugs and Online Pharmacies

Generic DrugsEven someone who has been living under a rock for the last five or so years would be aware of the confusion, misconception and questions that exist regarding generic prescription drugs, especially the largest selling online, by far, Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) and other drugs used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Some people believe much of the misinformation published by those who would have them pay ten times more for genuine drugs rather than the far cheaper generic versions. Much of the confusion and misconception exists because, understandably, many can’t see how the generic drug can be the same thing but be so cheap. Well, here is why the vast difference exists. It’s no secret, nor is it difficult to understand. It’s simply economics versus opportunism (although sometimes justified).

The following applies to all generic drugs sold through online pharmacies and in retail pharmacies on the street. There is no difference.

When the drug is first researched, discovered and developed, it takes a number of years and many, many millions (if not billions) of dollars in research, failure, more research, testing through multiple stages. Then come the trials, which have to satisfy the likes of the FDA (most countries have their own version of the FDA), which can, again, take years and more millions and even still fail for one reason or another.

Once the drug is approved by the authorities as safe (or relatively so, with the appropriate warnings…), the drug company then have to spend more millions and months marketing and promoting it to the public and the medical profession and wait for them to become confident in the product. Then comes the mass manufacture, packaging, wholesaling, and distribution etc of the tablets or whatever form the drug tales.

Interestingly, for instance, from the time the patent was taken out on Viagra in 1993 it took five years, till 1998, before it could be sold. Huge investments in money, time and resources, which the drug company (and shareholders) needed desperately to recover, hopefully in short order. Who can blame them, really? It’s a huge investment and huge risk with any new drug and some don’t end up being worthwhile.

That’s why any original drug is relatively expensive compared to it’s generic counterpart. At least for the first decade or so, while these enormous investments are being recovered. Very simple indeed.

Now for generic drugs, of which there are many. First of all, they are generally manufactured overseas because of cheaper labor and production costs and also because the patent doesn’t allow for them to be made or sold in the U.S. (if that’s where they were originally discovered and patented) except by the patent owner. They can however, be imported, in personal quantities by individuals, in most countries.

Before we go any further, as I said, many other countries have their own versions of the FDA, which are every bit as stringent and effective. Those countries that don’t have such an authority rely on the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) to approve and monitor the manufacture of already proven pharmaceuticals. Let’s face it, when people get sick in Australia, Britain, India, Russia, China, Japan etc and take the drugs made in their own country, they get better. The U.S is NOT the only place in the world that can be trusted to make quality, safe and effective pharmaceuticals. It would be silly and cynical to think so.

In fact, it may surprise some that the bulk ingredients for some so-called ‘US manufactured’ drugs are actually imported from other countries, so let’s be realistic!

The Generic drug that is purchased online is GENERALLY made in pharmaceutical facilities, which are approved by authorities much the same as the FDA and/or W.H.O. It is also interesting to note that vast amounts of GENERIC drugs like antibiotics, immunizations, birth control pills and even Viagra are used by the likes of W.H.O., World Vision and the Red Cross etc in their humanitarian endeavors because of their vastly cheaper prices. If they’re good enough for The Red Cross, are they good enough for you? I think so…

Generic Drugs that are sold through Online Pharmacies are so cheap because of the cheaper labor in other countries, but more so because of the obvious following reasons:

NO huge initial investment to recover.

NO wholesalers, distributors or retailers, they are shipped to the client from the manufacturer.

NO transport costs between three, four or often five of the above organizations.

NO stock needs to be kept by any of these non-existent middlemen or Pharmacies.

NO ‘bricks and mortar’ premises need to be maintained by the middlemen or the Pharmacies.

So you see, the ongoing mark-ups or profits from each of these middlemen don’t exist because they don’t exist, just the price from the manufacturer and their commission to the referring Online Pharmacy.

In closing, I must admit that there ARE counterfeit drugs and there are drugs, which don’t contain much of the effective ingredient. This problem is seen more so in drugs like Viagra, cialis and Levitra (the ED drugs) because of their popularity but STILL, these account for a very small percentage indeed, of the quality generic drugs sold online. People are still buying online drugs in droves and they wouldn’t continue to do that if they were having bad or questionable experiences, would they?

It’s also been discovered that the counterfeit drugs that everyone seems to condemn online Pharmacies over, ALSO show up in ‘bricks and mortar’ Pharmacies. So, why aren’t people wary of these retail outlets? Easy… media and the original manufacturer’s hype. Of course they’d rather sell all the online buyers genuine drugs at a much higher rate.

As for the best way to tell a safe online Pharmacy, look for a toll free phone number and other means of contact, for following up orders, requesting cancellations, refunds or complaints. If they have these, they can hardly be surviving by selling inferior products. Check out the contacts first if you wish to make sure they’re genuine.

This article is written in the spirit of assisting those who have a need for prescription drugs but are unable to, or have difficulty in, financing their urgent needs. Generic drugs are safe, in the main and online pharmacies are honest and helpful, also in the main. Action is continually being taken against pharmacies (both online and on the street), which sell inferior products. Hopefully we will soon have worldwide pharmacy access, which all people can trust and take advantage of.

Cheap Medicines Online – Is it Worth It To Buy Them?

Cheap Medicines OnlineHealthcare inflation has led many people to patronize cheaper drugs. The cheapest substitute to branded medicines is generic drugs. If the doctor recommends a specific branded medicine, one can request for a generic drug with the same effect. Generic drugs are grouped under over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pill categories. The Congressional Budget Office of the United States reports that consumers saved $8 to $ 10 billion every year by buying generic drugs.

Unlike the manufacturers of branded medicines, generic drug pharmaceuticals do not spend for for development and research. Roughly $32 billion is the cost of developing new drugs, as reported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The average cost to develop one drug is $897 million, according to the Boston’s Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. These figures explain why new branded drugs are very expensive.

Generic drugs are more inexpensive because they no money is spent on research and development. The generic medicines are created upon the expiry of a branded drug’s patent. The patent’s expiry lets numerous pharmaceutical companies to produce and sell a generic version. As the competition increases, lower-priced drugs sell more. Although the prices are lower, the generics must use the same active ingredients as the branded counterpart. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked to make sure that all generic drugs meet their standards.

Generic medicines are available at online pharmacies. These pharmacy sites offer inexpensive quality medicines. However, buying medicines online comes with many risks. Some of these websites are fraudulent sites that do not deliver quality-control medicines. Most of these companies are not even recognized by the US FDA, resulting in customers consuming unsafe drugs from unauthorized pharmacies.

It is imperative to scrutinize the pharmacies selling cheap medicine online. Although these online drugstores offer prices lower than local pharmacies, it is more important to ensure that the products are secure for consumption. It It is more costly to visit a doctor in order to be cured from a fake medicine’s side effects than purchasing more costly but more effective and less harmful drugs from reputable pharmacies.

Opting to buy cheap medicines online comes with its pros and cons. In order to be safe, it is advisable to consult online pharmacy review sites. User comments from these sites will determine the credibility and reliability of the pharmacy’s products and services. It is also important to confirm that the reviews are from actual individuals who have experienced making business with a specific online pharmacy.

Seniors at a Disadvantage When Purchasing Prescription Drugs Online

Prescription Drugs OnlineA recent national survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation in association with Princeton Survey Research Associates (PSRA) discovered that the digital world is still divided when it comes to seniors purchasing prescription drugs online.

The study found that approximately 30 percent of seniors (in this article, we define seniors as aged 65 and older) have used the Internet. However, 70% of their younger, seemingly more Net-savvy counterparts (50-64 year olds) are surfing the Net.

The dramatic differences between the two groups indicate that the next generation of seniors will be more able to make more informed online prescription drug choices, and that online sources of pharmaceutical information may become more important as these 50-64 year olds age. Currently, only 21% of seniors have, at one point in time, viewed an Internet site for health information, whereas 53% of their 50-64 year old counterparts have done the same.

The survey also found a link between senior’s annual household income and their propensity to go online searching for health information: only 15% of seniors in the $20,000 a year or less income bracket have searched the Web, as opposed to 40% of the $20,000-49,000 income earners in the same age group, or 65% of the $50,000 and over bracket. Unfortunately, most of the $20,000 a year or less seniors are also on Medicare (64%).

Prescription drugs online have become, in the past several years, one of the top health care topics searched, with 13% of all seniors having researched pharmaceuticals at one time or another. Only 5% of seniors, however, say that they have researched drug costs online, with the same number stating they’ve purchased prescription drugs online.

With the new Medicare reforms that enable the use of discount drug cards, websites such as the federal Medicare.gov have become crucial comparison methods for seniors looking to save money. And yet, less than 1% of seniors’ doctors have recommended prescription drug websites to their clients, but more than half of the seniors participating in the survey have received emails from pharmaceutical companies that advertise medicines, nutritional therapies, supplements or other health related items.

Purchasing prescription drugs online shouldn’t be a hassle for seniors, and yet when looking at these statistics, it’s fairly evident the digital divide still exists; at it’s most disproportionate the tools created to help the most disadvantaged are not being used. Even though more than 30% of seniors have stated that the Internet is something they “wouldn’t want to do without”, and more than half feel the Internet keeps them in touch with loved ones, they are still not using the Internet to research prescription drugs online – or as much as they could be.