Cheaper drugs on internet
by Barrett Gibson 4 June 2014
new health report has revealed the worrying number of people risking their health by purchasing over-thecounter medicine through the internet. The Consumer Health Management Trends Report showed more than one in 10 Australians between the ages of 18 and 34 had bought prescription drugs online in a bid to save money. The research, commissioned by Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse, also showed almost half (46 per cent) of Australians had used the internet to self-diagnose as it was quicker and cheaper than visiting a GP. Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse Director, Anthony Yap said the findings were a clear indicator of negative consumer attitudes towards high prescription charges and GP fees. “In this weakened economic climate, consumers are increasingly seeking out cheaper alternatives for what they perceive as over-priced
treatments and services,” he said. “The seven dollar GP fee and increased script surcharge announced in last week’s budget are likely to drive even more people to seek health advice and cheaper medication online.” “Unfortunately, the prospect of budget cuts and lower disposable incomes cause people to overlook the risks associated with buying online such as counterfeit products which could make them ill.” Mr Yap said that while people were concerned with the proposed new prescription and GP charges they should be putting their health and wellbeing first. “For those who are panicking about the possibility of new charges, there are a couple of things to bear in mind,” he said. “First, not all pharmacies charge the same for scripts. Before turning to Doctor Google people should price-compare and look for a cheaper discount pharmacy for their prescriptions as this could save them money without compromising their health. “In addition, pharmacists can
provide health care and advice for a range of ailments which may not require GP treatment. As a first port of call, visit your local pharmacist and talk to them about your problem. If they believe you need to see a doctor they will advise you to do so.” While the majority of people had opted for the internet over a GP for health advice, doctors and pharmacists still topped the list when it came to the most trusted sources of health information. More than three-quarters of Australians said they trusted their GP above anything else for health advice and information compared to just five per cent who named the internet as their preferred source. The report also explored consumer attitudes and behaviours towards herbal medicine and revealed a growing preference for natural remedies as an alternative to over-the-counter medications. 54 per cent had used a natural remedy to treat their condition with more than eight in 10 (83 per cent) claiming it worked as well as or better than prescription or overthe-counter medicine.
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