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Pharmacy Online Services: How Do They Work

A pharmacist holds a prescription bottle while typing on a laptop

Over-the-counter and prescription medications are considered essential products, and their accessibility, especially during the ongoing pandemic, should be of utmost priority. Online pharmacy services have brought a new dimension to access and supply, and the ever-changing consumer habits combined with the exponential growth in the use of online services are reasons why there is a spike in the application of online pharmacy services. 

So how do online pharmacies work? In this post, we will explain how pharmacists utilize technology to serve consumers. 

The Rise of Pharmacy Online Services 

According to data-driven insights and analysis, the global online pharmacy market is expected to reach over $131 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of over 20% during the forecast period. This revenue is credited to the growing need of consumers ordering prescription and over-the-counter medication due to geographical and lockdown restrictions.

As access to the internet increases every year, its use to learn health-related information is also rising. Global estimates show that 4.5% of all internet searches are linked to health-related queries or information. It was also revealed that 72% of online users in the United States, and 71% of users in Europe searched for health and medicine information at least once in the past year before visiting a healthcare professional. 

As more and more people turn to medical websites, there is also more interest in purchasing medicine online. 

A woman making a purchase at a pharmacy online

How Do Pharmacy Online Services Work? 

Pharmacy online services are an expanding business model, as it improves access and convenience for those living in remote areas, for those with busy schedules, or for those affected with pandemic sanctioned restrictions. 

In order to be efficient, pharmacists who decide to provide this service have applied certain practices to ensure utmost safety and care. Consumers follow a step-by-step process which consists of:

  1. Logging into the website of their chosen pharmacy;
  2. Selecting the products they wish to purchase for over-the-counter products;
  3. Entering their personal information (name, delivery address, telephone number); and
  4. Providing a payment method.

Most pharmacies offer a service of refilling or transferring prescriptions. It is the pharmacy’s responsibility to ensure all transactions are true, safe, and are delivered in a timely manner.

Pharmacy Online Services Should Provide: 

Transparency 

Considered a key area of strength, pharmacy owners will need to provide details about where the service and professionals involved in prescribing and supplying the medicine are based, and how well they are regulated. Transparency from the pharmacy’s end gives consumers the information they need to make informed decisions. 

Managed Medicine Requests in a Safe Manner 

Pharmacy online services are associated with certain risks, which include filling false prescriptions. A risk assessment will help pharmacy owners identify and manage certain risks. This helps in distinguishing which risks could potentially cause harm, and in coming up with solutions in order to minimize them. 

Medical questionnaires, commonly used to determine the suitability of medication, should be designed so that individuals requesting medication cannot find a way around the safety criteria put in place. “Lock-out” systems should also be in place, which can be activated if the patient performs an unusual activity, or requests certain types of medicine that are unsuitable for them. Systems are also devised to determine the frequency of orders, ensuring that patients are following their prescriptions in a safe and timely manner. 

Additionally, pharmacy owners should build systems that will identify requests that are inappropriate, such as:

  • Multiple orders from the same person using different accounts with the same payment details
  • Orders for inappropriate combinations of products
  • Frequent or unbelievably large requests

Medication held by a gloved hand

Double-Checking Prescriptions and Identities 

One of the main tasks of a pharmacy online service is to rightfully check identities. A pharmacy should have a robust system in place for pharmacists and staff members to verify identities when there is a need to. Rather than verifying identities in isolation, some pharmacies use an existing database as a cross-checking system to ensure that users are not duplicating accounts. 

In some cases, patients are also asked to upload photographic identification to their secure account, which is then examined to ensure authenticity. Hiring identity verification agencies can be an approach, alongside other regular checks such as confirming prescription numbers. 

Safe Supply and Delivery of Medicine 

Pharmacy online services and the efficiency of their delivery bridges the gap for those physically unable to visit a pharmacy. As with other security measures, all delivery packages should be tracked, monitored, and ensured that they arrive at their proper destination.

The Boardwalk Pharmacy Online Purchase and Delivery Services 

The Boardwalk Pharmacy is an ethical Canadian pharmacy offering a wide range of products and services, including online purchases and delivery. We can refill your prescriptions, have them transferred from another pharmacy, or you can purchase over-the-counter medications – all with the added convenience of having your orders delivered right to your door, all at once. No need to stand in line, or wait for hours just to get the proper care you deserve. 


Visit our location in Kitchener-Waterloo, or contact us today. As a credible provider of pharmacy online services, we will always be happy to assist you and walk you through our offerings.
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