Prescription Websites

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Prescription websites are plentiful, which means the consumer/patient must be discriminating about which to use. Some websites claim to issue medication without a doctor's prescription. Some issue medications from Canada or Mexico. A few use the latest technology to both speed up the prescription process and protect patient safety.

As of right now, electronic prescribing is the safest means of obtaining medication because it reduces the chances of errors that are possible from beginning to end of the prescription process. The costs of drug-related deaths and injuries may run as high as $77 billion a year, according to medical studies. The consensus is that these deaths and costs result from a medical system that is on overload.

Technology Can Save Lives

The current method of prescribing medication is crude and prone to problems. These problems relate to clinicians' handwriting, and the naming, labeling, and packaging of drugs. Technology is not a cure-all, by any means, but it would eliminate many of the obvious errors that plague the present system.

There are point-of-care digital systems that are designed to be user-friendly and to offer information and write prescriptions in real time. Hand-held devices can alert physicians to potential drug or allergy interactions through up-to-date formularies that are connected with patient records. Medication errors are just one kind of medical error, to be sure, and simple steps need to be taken to separate look-alike medications in storage cabinets. Technology can, however, prevent many of the prescribing errors that occur every year.

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