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​​​​​​​Home delivery & Risks of Online Pharmacies


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Home delivery

Conventional stationary pharmacies usually have controlled drug distribution systems from the manufacturer. Validation and good distribution practices are followed. Home delivery of pharmaceuticals can be a desirable convenience but sometimes there can be problems with uncontrolled distribution.

The shipment of drugs through the mail and parcel post is sometimes a concern for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Uncontrolled shipping conditions can include high and low temperatures outside of the listed storage conditions for a drug. For example, the US FDA found the temperature in a mail box in the sun could reach 136 °F (58 °C) while the ambient air temperature was 101 °F (38 °C)

Shipment by express mail and couriers reduces transit time and often involves delivery to the door, rather than a mail box. The use of insulated shipping containers also helps control drug temperatures, reducing risks to drug safety and efficacy.

Risks and concerns

Illegal or unethical pharmacies sometimes send outdated, substituted, or counterfeit medications
Sometimes an online pharmacy may not be located in the country that is claimed. For example, one study of drug shipments claiming to be from Canada revealed many actually originated in several different countries and were often bogus medications
Minors or children can order controlled substances without adult supervision.
Other concerns include potential lack of confidentiality, improper packaging, inability to check for drug interactions, and several other issues.

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