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Prescription Medication Online

Though the internet accounts for only a small percentage of prescription drug purchases, the ability to order prescription medication online has opened up the potential marketplace. In fact, as more and more people become comfortable with the internet, the purchase of prescription medication online is expected to increase.


A study by Susannah Fox for Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2004 showed only 5% of Americans had ever purchased prescription medication online. The same study found that those who had would purchase prescription medication online again and cited convenience as the number one reason. However, a much larger percentage of Americans surveyed in this study felt purchasing prescription medication online was not as safe as purchasing it at a local pharmacy.

In order for sales of prescription medication online to increase, new consumers will have to become comfortable with not only internet ordering, but the sources offering prescription medication online. The most likely groups of people to become regular internet-based pharmacy customers are people who take specific prescription medications on a regular basis. Since the time frame for receiving prescription medication ordered online is far greater than filling a prescription at a local pharmacy, most people with a single use or even a periodic use prescription would elect to go to a local pharmacy.

This doesn’t mean the internet isn’t a great source for information on prescription medication. To the contrary, much information can be learned about prescription medication online. Patients and caregivers can learn about their specific prescriptions before or after they’ve filled them at the local pharmacy, which empowers them to discuss further treatment with their doctor intelligently.

Whether or not sales of prescription medication online will increase dramatically in coming years remains to be seen, but whether purchasing or researching the internet can be a powerful tool.

Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.

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