What Is the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Online Pharmacies?

written by Skye Sherman - Jun 8, 2020
medically reviewed by Dr. Tolulope Olabintan, MD - Mar 29, 2022

Photo Credit: by @ironfan.tiffany
Photo Credit: by @ironfan.tiffany

Every day, it becomes more clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has touched every part of our lives. Nothing in our routine is the same as it was at the start of the year. The way we eat, shop, socialize, and take care of our health has shifted in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

In addition to the impact of the virus on our individual lives, almost every industry has had to quickly shift operations or update protocols in light of the way things work now. Online pharmacies are no exception. With increased demand for access to prescription medications without risking unnecessary exposure in public, online pharmacies are experiencing an uptick in sales and interest. In addition, trusted information on relevant health and wellness topics is more needed than ever.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on online pharmacies? How will COVID-19 continue to change the way online pharmacies operate? Read on for our take.

How will COVID-19 affect online pharmacies? The rise of online prescriptions

Wondering how COVID-19 will continue to affect and change the world of online pharmacies? We have already seen some of its effects, but it’s likely that the evolution will continue as the world at large faces a “new normal.” These changes may be permanent, but at the very least, they will last an undetermined amount of time, likely until we create a vaccine that can protect people against the virus.

One major impact of COVID-19 on the world of online pharmacies has been the increased number of online prescriptions.

According to Business Matters Magazine, “Owing to the pandemic and the enforced lockdown in most countries, a rise in the online order and purchase of medications and prescriptions have been recorded over the past few months. Many persons, in a bid to exercise the safety and self-isolation measures, have reduced buying from the wayside pharmacies. Moreover, the majority of these businesses stopped operations or restricted their service to only important orders. This has caused numerous patients to resort to purchasing their drugs and medications from online pharmacies. The advantage of this is that it makes the delivery of essential and non-essential medications quick and convenient, while also enhancing social distancing.”

What drugs are people ordering online? Which prescriptions have seen increased demand during the pandemic? Some of the most common medications that people opt to get delivered from an online pharmacy include asthma drugs and inhalers, birth control, blood thinners, ED meds, supplements to support immunity, and generic alternatives to common prescription medications. Many routine drugs and common medications are well priced at online pharmacies, and you can’t beat the perk of getting these drugs delivered right to your door with no need for additional contact.

Business Matters Magazine also reports that the most popular medicine ordered lately has been paracetamol, a painkiller. Another drug category trending with higher demand are impotence medications, such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and others that treat ED.

COVID-19 has demanded a focused response from the healthcare industry, including the realm of pharmaceuticals. The advice of doctors, plus affordable and reliable access to care, is more important than ever. Credible information about staying healthy in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic is also more vital than ever before.

A positive effect of COVID-19: Online pharmacies must focus on supply

Many effects of COVID-19 have been negative. However, the pandemic has offered some positive results to the online pharmacy world.

For example, due to the panic of the pandemic, there is now a greater focus and emphasis on maintaining the pharmaceutical supply chain, which is a plus for patients everywhere. Online pharmacies have also had to pivot and adjust by building reliable plans for potential emergency situations, like a pandemic or other global crisis. Every industry has to be equipped with a disaster response plan so that when the worst-case scenario takes place, they are ready to respond. For example, Canadian Pharmacy World has a partnership with overseas suppliers from different countries such as Turkey, Mauritius, India, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom in order to be able to provide the best international products.

Online pharmacies sell vital prescriptions in a convenient and affordable manner, including anti-malarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine, a generic equivalent of Plaquenil. Hydroxychloroquine received a lot of media attention in the wake of COVID-19 because President Trump touted its promising outlook as a potential treatment regimen for the coronavirus. As a result, hydroxychloroquine saw a boom in sales, but it remains controversial.

According to KPBS, “In mid-March, when the unproven idea of giving coronavirus patients anti-malarial drugs emerged on social media and on Fox News, the online pharmacy HealthWarehouse said orders for hydroxychloroquine started to spike. It was inundated with requests for the drug when President Donald Trump speculated later that month that in combination with another medication, hydroxychloroquine could be ‘one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.’ The president then repeatedly championed the drug. The Food and Drug Administration has since put out a warning against using it for COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine can cause serious abnormal heart rhythms that can be life-threatening.”

While the immunosuppressive and anti-parasite drug can treat and prevent malaria, it is also used to treat lupus and arthritis. However, its ability to treat COVID-19 is not proven or backed by science. Still, if you have a hydroxychloroquine prescription for a valid medical need, you may be able to order it from an online pharmacy for the most convenient delivery method possible.

The rise of telepharmacy

Another unexpected effect of COVID-19 was the rise of telemedicine. The telemedicine or telehealth trend quickly rose in popularity while people wanted medical attention or advice but did not feel comfortable leaving their homes or entering a doctor’s office. But did you know that insight isn’t the only thing you can get from a telemedicine appointment?

You can even get a prescription online through telemedicine, which you can then provide to an online pharmacy that will deliver the drugs right to your door. In other words, gone are the days when you had to physically step foot in a doctor’s office in order to be prescribed a medication from a licensed physician, and gone are the days when you had to drive to your local pharmacy to pick it up.

According to Insider, “With telemedicine, you can get prescription medication through an online doctor’s appointment. It’s then possible to have your prescriptions delivered via telehealth services, such as online pharmacies. … With the benefits of telemedicine and telepharmacy, you can discuss your condition virtually with a physician, who may be able to prescribe a medication that can be ordered through a pharmacy and delivered to your home.”

This new trend toward using online pharmacies is basically just the online delivery of pharmacy services, including dispensing medications remotely. Please check with your online pharmacy first to see if they accept online prescriptions.

The problem of fake pharmacies

One unfortunate impact of COVID-19 is the rise of fake pharmacies online. One of the main issues facing credible online pharmacies is the presence of fake online pharmacies, which have no credentials or certifications and no physical address. These tarnish the reputation of accredited, reliable, and legitimate online pharmacies. Many of these sham online pharmacies exist only to sell erectile dysfunction meds with no prescription required. This is both illegal and dangerous.

Next, we’ll explain how to separate the real, trusted pharmacies from the online pharmacies you shouldn’t order from.

How to identify a licensed pharmacy

Wondering how you can identify a licensed pharmacy or find an online pharmacy you can trust? Look for their certifications from third-party outside sources such as CIPA (Canadian International Pharmacy Association). In addition, an online pharmacy should require a valid prescription to fulfill an order, just like your local pharmacy does. A licensed online pharmacy will not be able to dispense or send your medication without a valid prescription from a licensed physician. In other words, if you are dealing with a legitimate online pharmacy, you will not be able to order prescriptions medications online without providing a valid prescription.

Here at Canadian Pharmacy World, we offer an online pharmacy experience you can trust and rely on. Learn more about us on our website, and please get in touch with us if you have any questions about our company or how to order. You can upload your prescriptions in MyRx or send them to us by fax, email, or snail mail.

While ordering from an online pharmacy is already an affordable approach to getting your prescriptions, we’re happy to do what we can to help you save even more. We offer a wide range of medications on our online pharmacy and even provide trusted alternatives, such as additional ways to save on generics, varied country origin options, or placing orders of larger quantities to save even more by buying in bulk.

We are fully licensed and offer you security when purchasing online. Of course, our business is contactless by nature so you don’t have to worry about social distancing when you order from us! We offer more affordable prices and free delivery, so you can get your prescriptions delivered right to your door with no hassle and no stress. You can always order over-the-counter products, too, which do not require a prescription, just like at your local pharmacy.



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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.