E-commerce of pharmaceuticals

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emergence of the Internet as a new communications and information technology caused major social and cultural changes. The dramatic increase in accessibility and availability of information empowered the consumer by closing the information gap between the consumer and different suppliers. The objective of this article is to review many new internet-supported applications related to the pharmaceutical market. E-commerce is divided into two major components: Business to Consumer (B to C), and Business to Business (B to B). The main applications in B to C are dissemination of medical and drug information, and the sale of drugs through the Internet. Medical information on the Internet is vast and very helpful for patients, however, its reliability is not guaranteed. Online pharmacies increase the accessibility and availability of drugs. Nevertheless, several obstacles such as security of the data provided (both financial and clinical) prevent the widespread use of online pharmacies. Another risk is the health authorities' inability to regulate Internet sites effectively. Therefore, unregulated sale of prescription drugs, fake or substandard, often occurs on the Internet. B to B relates to physicians, clinics, hospitals, HMO's and pharmaceutical companies. There is a vast number of applications ranging from clinical research, marketing and sales promotion, to drug distribution and logistics. In conclusion, the Internet is dynamic and has contributed to the development of numerous new applications in the field of pharmaceuticals. Regulatory authorities should be active in developing new policies that will deal with those new Internet-based applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-376+396
JournalHarefuah
Volume142
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2003

Keywords

  • Drug advertising
  • Drug information
  • E-commerce
  • Internet
  • Online pharmacies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'E-commerce of pharmaceuticals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this