The Pros and Cons of Using Mail Order Pharmacies

Using a mail order pharmacy can be incredibly convenient. Not only can you order your prescriptions online, but the medicine is shipped straight to your home. If you are considering this service, here are a few pros and cons you might consider before opting for online pharmacies.


  1. You don't have to go to a pharmacy.
    If you're a very busy person or perhaps a senior citizen who has a difficult time getting to the pharmacy to pick up medications, the convenience of having them delivered right to your door is a tremendous benefit.
  2. You don't have to wait in line.
    Pharmacies are notorious for having long lines that can leave you waiting for up to 30 minutes. People ask questions, and you’re left standing for what seems like forever. Mail order pharmacies bypass the whole line situation altogether.
  3. You’ll get bigger supplies.
    Instead of a one-month supply, most mail order pharmacies will refill your medication for two or three months. You can easily get 60- to 90-day supplies using these services, which means you’ll have to worry less about filling your medicine.
  4. You’ll end up saving money.
    Since you can order large supplies of meds at a time, you’ll end up saving a lot of money. Plus, the prices are lower because the medication is coming from a large warehouse full of medications without the overhead of an actual pharmacy.
  5. Your information is entirely private.
    If you have a medication that you are embarrassed about or a situation you wish to keep quiet, online pharmacies are perfect. Only you and the pharmacist filling your medicine know what you are taking. There is no one to overhear what you’re on and why you’re taking it.


  1. Your medication may not arrive on time.
    Unfortunately, sometimes things happen which cause the post to arrive late. Such a delay may be acceptable for letters and packages, but not for medications. Late medication can cause a host of problems.
  2. There may be hidden costs.
    While most pharmacies will provide low costs with free shipping, some will have hidden fees. Typical fees include ordering fees, account fees, and consultation fees. Most of these services would be free at a local pharmacy.
  3. It may not be safe.
    Local pharmacies will watch what you're taking and how often, helping to catch any interactions or problems with what you’re taking. Online pharmacies are less likely to find interactions, including possible allergic reactions, that may be caused by some medications and medication combinations.
  4. Some may be a scam.
    Finding a reputable online pharmacy can be difficult, as there are scams you have to watch for. A popular Canadian scam took several thousands of dollars from people all over the internet. Be cautious with any websites you choose for your mail order needs.
  5. There is no personal touch.
    If you have an issue, you cannot speak to a pharmacist. You will not have someone watching over you or someone to help you take your medication correctly. Local pharmacists can assist you with tips on taking medication, such as eating yogurt with some antibiotics to decrease the chances of an upset stomach. You won't get that kind of service with an online pharmacy.