6 Things to Keep in Mind While Buying Medicines


A visit to the pharmacy or filling out your prescription online can be mundane tasks you perform regularly, but you can still make your purchase more effective bearing a few things in mind:

Carry the prescription

Why? You know your dad’s meds, you’ve been buying them for years. Your memory may serve you best, but the pharmacist can serve you better with a prescription in hand – ensuring you don’t absent-mindedly walk away with the wrong dose or the wrong quantity.

Insist on a bill or a receipt

Ask for a bill once you’re done, no matter how familiar you are with the store! A bill or receipt offers some degree of accountability for the goods sold. Additionally, if your health insurance plan includes a domiciliary cover, you will need the receipts for reimbursement.

Understand what an active-ingredient is

While the same active ingredient could be present in drugs marketed by different manufacturers, the inherent purpose and use of the drug remains the same. The same active ingredient may have a slightly different colour, formulation, taste or packaging with a different manufacturer. When in doubt, always reach out to your physician, another good use of carrying a prescription with the doctor’s contact information on it.

Look out for the expiration date as well as date of manufacture

In a hurry to spot the expiration date, we often overlook the obvious – the date of manufacture. A product that expires in February 2018 could have been manufactured two years ago. Given climatic conditions or storage conditions, there’s every possibility the drug is not safe to consume closer to its expiry.

Don’t miss out on special discounts and services

Pharmacies are pretty much like any retail outlet in ensuring a good experience for customers while shopping with them. You may have noticed the offers and conveniences added at most pharmacies or while ordering medicines online. These special services include discounts or loyalty programs for customers, free home delivery, and alternative payment options through PayTM, PayPal and other leading payment gateways. Make sure you are not missing out on these options!

General precautions

There are a few other things to always keep in mind, like:

  • Never accept medication where the packaging seems damaged or puffed up
  • Never accept medicines that don’t look authentic or if they look tampered with
  • Avoid self-medication
  • Check dosage

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