How to get cold medicine for free online
How do you get cold medicines without a prescription?
That’s a question researchers are grappling with as the pharmaceutical industry looks to the internet for ways to offer more affordable versions of cold medicines.
The question also reflects a growing desire among consumers to get their hands on more generic versions of the medicine, and some companies have taken steps to create a more efficient process.
As more and more of the world’s population gets older, a growing number of people are turning to prescription drugs as a last resort, said Dr. Jeffrey R. Schmitz, the chief medical officer of the National Institutes of Health, which funds many cold medicine research projects.
But the problem is, there is no easy way to do it in a way that’s inexpensive and effective, said Schmit, who is also director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University.
“This has always been a problem for the pharmaceutical companies,” he said.
A new approach to online ordering The National Institutes for Health is looking at ways to automate the process of buying a prescription for a cold medicine online, said Nancy Wojcik, the agency’s director of research.
Some companies have already started working on such online delivery systems.
Last year, the company called its site coldmed.com, which allows people to order from a list of suppliers.
The new site, which is expected to launch next month, uses artificial intelligence and a bot to determine if a customer has a cold or not, according to Wojcek.
It also automatically analyzes the order and determines the best price for the cold medicine.
Other online providers are working on ways to make it easier for consumers to order cold medicines, said David Buell, an analyst at Bernstein Research.
Some offer the option of using a QR code to scan an order and paying by credit card.
Companies are also working on the idea of allowing customers to get prescriptions for free, which would allow them to get the cold medicines for free at pharmacies.
In the meantime, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on more affordable options, such as a system called eMedicare, which offers generic versions at lower prices than the prescription versions.
To be eligible for the eMedis, companies will need to create an account at eMedics.gov, a website that allows users to upload a health history, and create a profile with the health information of a patient.
That information can be compared with the patient’s prescription to determine the most effective cold medicine, Wojcik said.
A company that is certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology as meeting the industry standard for offering cold medicine may be able to choose which of the many brands to use, she said.
That certification is not needed for the program to be eligible.
More broadly, the pharmaceutical market has seen an increasing number of generic drugs, said Brian A. Stolarik, a professor of medical finance at Boston University School of Medicine.
That is partly because of a rise in generic drug use and an increasing demand for cold medicine due to a worsening pandemic, he said, but also because the industry is struggling to find ways to create the products that consumers need.
An online cold medicine marketplace could also benefit from other research and development efforts by the NIH, he added.
For example, the NIH has been working with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline on a technology called a generic version of the drug, which uses a protein called interleukin 1 (IL-1), which is a molecule in the blood that causes inflammation in the immune system.
That could give pharmaceutical companies a more accurate prescription, Stolark said.
The technology has already been tested in animals and in humans, he noted.
Pharmaceutical companies have also been looking at developing other online delivery options, said Wojczak, who did not have a comment on the potential use of such a technology.
While companies such as Walgreens and CVS Caremark are focused on offering generic versions, they also have been looking for ways for people to get a cheaper version of cold medicine in the future.
CVS announced plans in March to roll out its own online cold therapy ordering system in which customers can buy the cold drug at pharmacies, and Walgreen is working with drugmaker Eli Lilly on a system that would allow people to buy generic versions online.
Last year, CVS and Eli Lilly partnered on a pilot program that provided free cold medicine at the pharmacy for two weeks.
Walgrees spokeswoman Kristin Ruppert said the program would continue in a similar way in the spring.
Eli Lilly spokeswoman Anne O’Neil said the company is focused on expanding its existing online cold service and would offer generic versions in the coming years.