Telecommunications and Health Care
Widespread internet access in the United States has inevitably become a disruptive technology when it comes to the doctor-patient relationship. Americans want to make the most of their health care dollars, and they also want the convenience of ordering pharmaceuticals online. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before a lot of fraudulent online “pharmacies” sprung up, ready and willing to separate consumers from their money. But legitimate online health care facilitators contracting with licensed physicians and pharmacists also established themselves online. They have revolutionized certain aspects of health care, namely consumer concerns about their privacy, particularly with sensitive medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction (ED).
For obvious reasons, ED is not a topic that many men are comfortable discussing face to face with their physicians. Lots of men turn to Erectile Dysfunction Forums to discuss ED.
Viagra’s popularity grew exponentially alongside the growth of the internet, so it was no surprise that online sources selling the drug started being set up at a rapid rate. The problem is that many of these sources misrepresent themselves as being legitimate U.S. pharmacies when they’re neither legitimate nor located in the U.S. Many don’t even pretend to require a prescription to dispense what they claim is Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, or a “generic” version thereof (which doesn’t even exist as of 2012).
Online “Pharmacies” that Don’t Require a Prescription
Drugs for ED like Viagra are only available by prescription, and online retailers that claim to dispense these drugs without requiring a patient prescription are operating illegally. They may be eventually shut down, but they may reopen almost immediately under a new domain, like a frustrating game of “Whack-a-mole” on the part of regulatory agencies. If you find an online source for Viagra or one of its competitors that does not require a prescription, chances are you would receive from that source a counterfeit version that’s at best ineffective and at worst very dangerous.
Buying these products (or counterfeit versions) overseas is another very risky option — and with very few, very specific exceptions, it’s illegal. If the supplier’s products are caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they are seized, and you’re out the cost of the products. If the products do make it to you, there is a high probability that they are counterfeit.
Even to the trained eye, telling counterfeit Viagra from the real thing is difficult. Your only assurance of purchasing actual Viagra is by getting it from a U.S. pharmacy that purchases the drug directly from Pfizer and ships it in specific packaging. You can then check the packaging for yourself on Pfizer’s website to make sure you have the genuine, FDA-approved product.
Online Facilitators with Contracted State-Licensed Physicians and Pharmacists
One of the increasingly popular options with men who want the privacy and discretion of ordering ED medications online is the use of U.S.-based online facilitators that require a prescription to dispense Viagra. Customers who already have a prescription may submit it and have it filled, while customers who do not have a prescription may be preferred to a clinic that can help them obtain a prescription from a U.S. licensed physician. If that physician’s clinic concludes that the medication is appropriate and safe for the patient, a prescription is written by the clinic.
Once a prescription is fulfilled by the pharmacy, a licensed pharmacist dispenses the medication and it is shipped to the patient securely via a trusted shipping service like FedEx or the United States Postal Service. An online facilitator will only dispense genuine, FDA-approved products like Pfizer’s Viagra that was purchased directly from the manufacturer.
How Is Patient Identity Confirmed?
With online facilitators, there is the question of how patient identity is confirmed. For example, could a person make up a fake story in order to obtain prescription Viagra or a similar drug for recreational purposes? Of course that is a possibility, but it is every bit as much a possibility in a face-to-face medical office setting. Another objectionable situation would be when a person under age 18 attempts to pass himself off as an adult in order to obtain Viagra. This type of scenario would be harder to pull off in a traditional medical setting, but reputable online facilitators actually do have robust tools that help prevent this from happening.
When a patient questionnaire is submitted, the best online facilitators make use of technological solutions like the one offered by IDology, called ExpectID. This service helps businesses verify a customer’s identity when they cannot see the customer’s identification in person. By delivering online identity and age verification, facilitators are able to confirm that the patient is who he says he is, and that he is old enough to legally order prescription drugs online. ExpectID uses information from thousands of data sources accessing billions of public records in order to verify (or fail to verify) a patient’s identity. The patent-pending process is also designed to verify identity while protecting the patient’s privacy.
How Are Patient Inquiries Handled?
If you order a prescription drug like Viagra from an online source that does not require a prescription or contracts actual pharmacists and you have a question about side effects, you may be out of luck. Illegitimate sources simply want orders and credit card numbers to come in and products to go out, and they aren’t there to provide you with any pertinent medical or pharmaceutical advice.
However, when you use an online facilitator that contracts with licensed physicians and pharmacists, you can access these professionals in order to ask questions and get answers from people who have the professional training and experience to know what they’re talking about. Before ordering any prescription product from an online pharmacy or facilitator, make sure they offer access to a pharmacist or physician if you should have questions later on. If not, you should go elsewhere.
AccessRx.com is an online facilitator based in the United States that contracts with physicians and pharmacists licensed in the United States. AccessRx.com has helped hundreds of thousands of people safely obtain prescription lifestyle drugs since 1998. If you are wary of ordering prescription ED medications from other sources, check out AccessRx.com for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised at the professionalism and courtesy with which these products are dispensed, sold, and shipped.