The advent of the internet has ushered in a different kind of business model that depends on doing things entirely online. For some types of online businesses however one of the biggest challenges is shipping. Not every product is as easy to ship as stuffing it in an envelope and putting a stamp on it. Shipping prescription drugs is but one example.
Canada Drugs Direct is an online pharmacy serving U.S. customers looking for better deals on their prescriptions. They take orders online, then ship them across the border to the States. It may sound like a simple enough proposition, but it is not. Shipping pharmaceuticals from Canada to U.S. customers requires a lot of knowledge and effort.
Online pharmacies have to pay attention to:
- individual drug characteristics
- national, regional, and local laws
- shipping regulations and guidelines.
Ship a prescription medication incorrectly and you risk damaging it in transit. Then there is also the risk of running afoul of government regulations. Suffice it to say there is a lot more to the issue than meets the eye.
Individual Drug Characteristics
Pharmaceutical products all have their own characteristics that can be impacted by shipping. You might have one drug that needs to be kept cool. Online pharmacies have to be cognizant of that, especially in cases where shipping will take some time. Similarly, another drug that doesn’t necessarily have to be kept cool could still be damaged by humidity. Its characteristics have to be accounted for as well.
Here in the U.S., postal regulations require that drug shippers understand the individual characteristics of the products they ship. Shippers must also pack products accordingly. In other words, they must pack drugs in such a way as to protect their integrity.
Complying with the Law
A bigger concern for online pharmacies is complying with the law. Damage a product during shipment and you end up with an unhappy customer and the need to issue a refund. But violate the law and an online pharmacy risks losing its license to operate.
The laws regarding pharmaceutical shipments vary by jurisdiction. In the U.S., federal law takes precedent. For example, there are certain controlled substances that are absolutely prohibited from being shipped. Marijuana is one of them. Despite dozens of states now allowing medical marijuana use, the drug still cannot legally be sent to patients in the mail.
It is also fairly common for jurisdictions to require that shippers be licensed to do so. An organization like Canada Drugs Direct has to be licensed to ship pharmaceuticals to this country. A U.S.-based operation would also have to be licensed. It would get no special dispensation just because it is located on U.S. soil.
Shipping Regulations and Guidelines
Topping everything off are shipping regulations and guidelines. Regulations are rules defining how various types of substances are shipped. They carry the force of law. As for shipping guidelines, they vary from one shipper to the next. Guidelines between the U.S. Postal Service and UPS may be similar for some medications but entirely different for others.
The most amazing thing is that online pharmacies have to be fully knowledgeable about all of this. There are a lot of details to know and understand, details that cannot be ignored if online pharmacies hope to protect their products and maintain compliance with the law.
Online pharmacies offer a much-needed option to the prescription using public. Yet what they do is not as simple as it might appear. There is a lot that goes into filling prescriptions online. Shipping is just one of many challenges online pharmacies deal with.