With increasing health awareness among the people, online health supplement market is rapidly growing across the world including India. Some of the popular supplements taken are: Calcium, Omega 3 fish oil capsules, Protein supplements, weight loss supplements, multivitamin tablets etc.
Buying these non prescription medicines over the internet tends to be very attractive given the discounts they offer and the ease of purchase. A large number of sites have evolved offering medical supplements at cheap prices. With a click of a button one can place an order on the website and you even do not need to pay upfront but only when the supplements reach your doorstep for delivery.
However, the products bought online have risks involved which are often overlooked by consumers.
Consumers usually trust the sellers and go blindly with the branded supplements they are offering. Consumers often only check the price of the product available at the local medical stores and then compare the prices available online. On the online store they find the same name product offered by the same brand and at a much cheaper price than available in stores. So what would you do? Yeah, most of us will go after the online product. After all everybody wants best bang for their bucks, isn’t it?
Well this is where a mistake is made, by falling in the trap of cheap prices and ignoring the risks involved with such transactions and not taking required precautions.
Risks involved with buying health medications over the internet
1. There is no surety that you’ll receive a genuine product that you’re paying for even if they are sold by best websites in India. Some of the websites do not procure the products directly but they just act as an agent of the seller.
2. Even the top websites may not have any hard control over the quality of the product as they do not have any strict mechanisms in place to perform a rigorous quality check on the third party products.
3. A website (or seller) may sell expired, inferior quality or fake products.
4. Quality control on the products sold by the third party sellers isn’t great so far in India.
5. Counterfeit versions of branded health supplements and medicines are very difficult to recognize because their labeling and packaging is done ditto same as original products. However, the fake medicines/supplements may actually be prepared with wrong active ingredient or incorrect proportions of ingredient as well as poisonous or dangerous substances.
6. Products may be poorly manufactured in unhygienic or substandard conditions.
7. Products may not be approved for sale in India.
8. Products are not labeled, stored or shipped correctly. Health products stored under improper temperatures may be harmful or even dangerous for health.
9. Products sold by unknown manufacturers could be bogus, may contain harmful ingredients which are not displayed on the label.
However, there are ways to identify some of the fake products which are mentioned in the next section.
Take following precautions and perform quality checks when buying health supplements and medications online:
Precautions to be taken while ordering Health Medications & supplements online
1. Try to order from Indian websites who sell the medicines and supplements which are directly sourced by them instead of a third party seller. Off course the website must be reputed in the market.
2. If the products are sold by a third part sellers then make sure that the seller is selling products with the website for more than a year.
3. Verify the seller ratings and review feedback given by the other buyers who have purchased products from the seller in the past. See if they are happy with the products or have issues with the seller.
4. Always look for sellers which provide a physical address, and email for contacting them directly and a working customer care number to answer any queries.
5. Look suspiciously at health products which are sold at a deep discount than the market price. Remember, eCommerce sites are here to make money and not meant for charity.
Verify the Product after receiving it from the Health Website
Follow these checks to see if you see any signs of a substandard or fake product:
1. Check the manufacturing and expiry dates. Manufacturing date should not be more than 6 months away and similarly the expiry date should not be too close.
2. Check the labeling and box quality – If you already have a box which you think is genuine then compare the contents on the label of the old box with label of the online medication/supplements.
3. Fake product manufacturers sometime try to cut corners and create low quality packaging and boxes. This is a very easy way to identify fake products. Always get alarmed if you see the box being tampered of inferior quality. Raise you concern with the website from where the product was ordered.
4. Check the color of the tablets or powders. See if it is exactly same as you have used in the past. If there are any differences then call the customer care immediately.
5. Check the color, shape and texture of the medicine.
6. Smell and taste the product – If the smell isn’t the same and the taste is also different then the product could be a fake product.
Speak to your known pharmacist or health care professional or a doctor if you feel suspicious about the health supplements you have received and make sure that you do not consume until after your concerns are resolved.
Also, raise a complaint or a concern with the website immediately and follow up with them until a satisfactory resolution is received.
If you are planning to buy health supplements and medicines online then follow the guidelines provided in this article and for saving some money use the genuine Health kart Coupons and 1mg Coupons . These 2 stores are selling health products and prescription medicines online and are quite popular among the consumers.