A prescription coupon is an individual password consisting of an alphanumeric and a digital combination. It is presented when buying goods on online resources or in offline pharmacies and stores. In 2007, coupons were available only for 26% of all brand drugs sold in retail pharmacies, while in 2010, that figure had jumped to 54%. Today they can be found for the majority of medications and are used by a large number of people in order to save. The promotional code at online pharmacies allows you to purchase high-quality prescription drugs at competitive prices, as well as get additional bonuses.
There are several types of coupons:
- promotional codes for receiving goods at a discount of 10-40%. A pharmacy sets the size of savings on its own. A coupon is issued both for all products and for certain positions;
- the ability to apply for the promotion after certain conditions are met – purchase for a certain amount or a specific medication;
- free delivery of medicines – the offer is relevant for most online resources that provide 100% payment for product delivery by the supplier;
- receiving a gift – this type of coupon is rarely used in online pharmacies. These promotions apply to medical cosmetics or equipment.
A discount coupon is issued on the official websites of pharmacies. In order to take advantage of the bonus, you should carefully study the offers of a pharmacy, especially the “promotions” section. Furthermore, some online pharmacies also allow receiving a personalized offer. You may access this option with App pharmacy, an online prescription service, by contacting the customer support team directly. Finally, the promotional code can be purchased on special Internet resources – coupon platforms or on the pages of social networks. The offer is disposable or reusable. The discount conditions are established by each online pharmacy individually. But even as a rank-and-file customer to the service, you are entitled to receive free bonus pills, a consultation by a qualified and experienced pharmacist, a discount offer for the drugs you showed interest in directly to your inbox if you subscribe to sales alerts, and shipping deals that wipe off the delivery costs.
How to Use
After receiving a prescription coupon, you must contact the pharmacy to avoid the risk of using an outdated offer posted on a special platform.
Pay attention to the following:
- Having received a coupon validity period – after the end of the promotion it will be impossible to use the code;
- list of items included in the special offer;
- amount of discount;
- individual conditions – the purchase of a certain drug or equipment gives the right to a discount on the check.
The password is entered in the special field ‘code’ or ‘password for discount’. The amount in the receipt is recalculated automatically and contains a promotional offer.
What Bonuses Does a Prescription Coupon Give?
Internet services independently make up a list of offers. Besides, some online pharmacies tend to discount the medications rather than deal with coupons alone to save customer time on indicating the promo codes. But in any case, a coupon or a promotional code in pharmacies allows you to get an individual discount. The savings from its use are substantial – 10-40%. A coupon gives you the right to receive a discount, gift, or price reduction on your next purchase. The promotion is distributed across a network of a specific pharmacy and is not tied to a specific region.
Benefits of using prescription coupons and promotions:
- there is no need to visit drugstores in search of a specific drug;
- a large assortment of products allows you to buy medicine at the best price;
- placing an order at a convenient time for the client;
- cost savings when buying medicines and special equipment;
- delivery to the specified address or to the nearest network pharmacy;
- Saving money is easy: add the products you want to buy in the basket, enter your promo code, validate, and your order is sent directly to you.
Generally-Met Coupons in Numbers
-10% a) New customer – allows you to save from your first order thanks to the coupon reserved for new customers. 10% discount on a basket of 30 US Dollars minimum. Conditions: valid only during the first order, excluding prescription items.
-5 € b) New newsletter subscriber. Subscription to the pharmacy’s newsletter allows a reduction coupon worth 5 US Dollars on the next order. Conditions: valid only on non-prescription items and purchase from 50 euros of purchase.
Valid up to 30 days after subscribing to the newsletter
-5% c) Premium comment implies a discount for each premium comment. One should write a comment of at least 50 words on a product that was purchased and receive a 5% discount on the next order. Usually, it is necessary to click ‘My Orders’ on the account page, then click ‘Rate’ and share product experience with other customers. Conditions: generally valid only on non-prescription items.
Statistics and Analytics
Yet in surveys, doctors report generally that promotion and coupons have little effect on their prescription decisions. For example, a study conducted with interns at the end of their training (specialty: medicine internal) revealed that barely 1% of them believed that the promotion had a lot of effect on their prescribing decisions, most even thought it had no effect. Data shows that promotion affects the provision of care. If drug promotion had no effect on treatment decisions, why do pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars annually in marketing targeting health professionals? Given the obligation for companies to present their shareholders with solid profits, this seems unlikely.
Market research companies have calculated that the average return on additional sales, per dollar invested in pharmaceutical promotion amounted to 10,24 USD in 2018. The Fortune 500 rankings also constantly cite the pharmaceutical industry as one of the industries having the returns highest investment. Research data confirms that the promotion influences professional practice.
A Misconception of the Influence of Promotion
Despite profitability and numerous examples of the industry’s influence, many health professionals underestimate the effects of promotion on pharmaceutical and professional practice.
The first study examines the contrast between opinions on influence and to measure that influence, investigators asked for doctors’ opinions on two ‘commercial myths’ that were not corroborated by scientific evidence. These allegations were that:
- (a) propoxyphene, a pain reliever with a poor safety profile, is more effective than aspirin;
- (b) low blood flow is a major cause of senile dementia. The last allegation encouraged the use of vasodilators to treat dementia, although their effectiveness has not been proven.
Although most doctors interviewed said they trust information sources, they also believed in these non-scientific ‘business myths’. More recent studies on the effects of free samples, promotions, and seminars funded by industrial promoters on the behavior of prescription have similarly shown an effect on prescription although the health professionals thought they were not influenced.
Negative Effects on Prescription
WHO found that doctors frequently use promotion as a source of information about new drugs and that promotion influences attitudes more than doctors are aware of. Far fewer studies were available on the effects on the attitudes of pharmacists or other health professionals.
Doctors who report that they rely heavily on promotion prescribe less appropriately, have higher prescription volumes and adopt new drugs more quickly. Corporate funding is more likely to yield favorable results for the funder. In addition, patients exposed to the PODC from prescription drugs are also more likely to request the drugs advertised. There is a need to study the public health implications of pharmaceutical promotion.
A systematic review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified 76 studies published between 2006 and 2017 on the effects of interactions between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry on knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. These were comparative studies before/after exposure to the promotion, comparative cohort studies, case-control studies, and cross-sectional surveys. It was found that:
- most of the physicians interviewed denied that gifts could influence their practice;
- the more gifts doctors received, the less likely they were to believe that this would affect their prescription;
- the more frequent the contact with the medical representatives, the more likely it was that the doctors would request the addition of sponsor products to the health facility forms;
- reimbursement of travel costs to attend a conference, industry-funded meals, research funding, and fees also increased the likelihood of requests for form additions, compared to physicians who did not receive;
- greater exposure to the speeches of medical representatives was associated with a reduced ability to recognize inaccurate drug claims;
- increasing the likelihood of prescribing sponsor products;
- more frequent contact with medical representatives was associated with higher prescription costs, faster prescriptions of new drugs, and a lower generic prescription.