What Is Online Pharmacies?
The widespread introduction of Internet-technologies facilitated emergence of new form of commerce – online. Pharmaceutical market was not an exception as well. For many inhabitants of large cities it becomes habitual to book via global network, along with already familiar products (books, clothing, etc.), medications and other non-prescription pharmaceutical products.
Due to widespread adoption of Internet technologies in various spheres of human life it is now actively developing such type of sale, as e-commerce, and pharmaceutical business is not an exception. Therefore, new forms’ emergence of medicines’ distance sale via online pharmacy are gaining popularity.
The pioneers and leaders in drugs’ sale via the Internet today are the US and Canada, and among European countries – Netherlands. The most popular online pharmacy in Canada, for example, is Canadian Family Pharmacy, being on pharmaceutical market up to 15 years already. If you are interested in our online service you are welcome to visit our city: http://www.cfop.biz/.
Table: Legislation of Online Pharmacies: Worldwide Situation
|Country||Is e-commerce legalized?||Note|
|Czech Republic||No||Only for preparations over-the-counter drugs and for registered pharmacies|
|Denmark||Yes||Only websites of registered online pharmacies|
|Germany||Yes||Only websites of registered online pharmacies|
|Holland||Yes||Only websites of registered online pharmacies|
|Rumania||No||There is neither official ban, nor licence|
|Slovakia||No||There is neither official ban, nor licence|
|Spain||Yes||Only for preparations over-the-counter drugs|
|Great Britain||Yes||Only websites of registered online pharmacies|
Online pharmacy is appropriate to consider, first of all, based on concept of «ecommerce». E-commerce system enables to cash in products and services by electronic means, as well as activates processes to stimulate demand for products and services that automates administrative tasks associated with sales and order processing. With proper business organization sale of goods and services via global network can be attributed to particular type of company’s activity, and very web-based company’s system should be equated in status to other “real” representatives of joint venture.
The USA is world’s most widely user of Internet pharmacy, and historical beginning of wide-spread in the late 90-ies of the last century. At this point this country has more than a thousand of such online enterprises. According to marketing company «Cyber Dialogue’s Cybercitizen Health» data, about 9.5 million of Americans today at least once use online pharmacies services and medicines ordered over the Internet.
Europe is one of the first country where online pharmacy was opened exactly in Switzerland (Mediservice – 1997). The first British retail online pharmacy started functioning in 1999 (Pharmacy2u). One of the pharmaceutical business Internet legislators in the European Union can be considered as Dutch pharmacy 0800DocMorris, which opened in June 2000. In Poland, the first online pharmacy (DomZdrowia) appeared only in June 2004. Thus, Internet pharmacies have become widely known among European population.
According to statistical data, by 2010, about 13% of all medicines in the United States were realized via the Internet.
Sale of drugs via the Internet is approved in the United States. The legislative act «The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008» ( «Ryan Haight Act») regulates practice of online trading drugs at the federal level.
It should be noted number of other economic benefits of Internet pharmacies, in particular, they are less expensive as compared to “ordinary” pharmacies allowing consumers to easily compare prices of different pharmacies, fully meet needs of search selection possibilities, method of payment, time, place and delivery method, providing possibility of free courier delivery (for orders above a certain amount). Taxation of Internet pharmacies is subject to general principles in this area that creates opportunities without approval of other regulatory documents proper functioning.
As practice and sociological statistics show, the Internet is gradually opened doors of every home, like telephone or television, is considered as the most rapid and complete source of necessary information, in particular about medicines.
Mastering new technologies and means of telecommunication is prestigious social and professional activities – often necessity.
A weighty argument in favor of telecommunications in pharmacy development is the fact that the Internet audience is one of the most solvent and informed sections of population, according to modern trends in society, striving to convenience and time savings. These conditions are successfully carried out at order of medicinal products and medical devices via the Internet pharmacies, which are available to consumers 24/7 (24 hours for 7 days). Canadian Family Pharmacy has the same working hours that’s why it is very convenient to make orders via our service from any corner of the world.
It should be noted that, according to comScore Networks study (February 2005), in the US, where there is the greatest experience of this type of activity, 2/3 people found that online pharmacies may make a “healthy” competition to conventional pharmacies.
However, as with any network structures, where there is no strict income accounting and implemented services, as in any form of commercial activity in operation of Internet pharmacies there may appear a problem of fraud caused by legal framework and lack of censor in the Internet.
At the same time, media, along with existing problems of new activities, recognize progressive development and implementation of telecommunication technologies in practice of online pharmacies.
Introduction of high technologies require highly skilled personnel. Market offers the latest software for e-commerce operation, especially in retail pharmacy. However, organizational and technological unpreparedness of some pharmaceutical companies, lack of qualified personnel hinders integration of online pharmacies in daily work of the majority of countries.
Problem of information security resources is of great importance in development of telecommunications and implementation of them in pharmaceutical practice that’s why the majority of such online services utilize encrypting services to protect personal data from unauthorized entrance. In this case Canadian Family Pharmacy guarantees you absolute data protection.
However, need for legal regulation of relations arising from online pharmacies use, is inevitable due to dynamic environment and existence of copyright issues in global network.