Cyberdrugs: A cross-sectional study of online pharmacies characteristics

Grazia Orizio, Peter Schulz, Serena Domenighini, Luigi Caimi, Cristina Rosati, Sara Rubinelli, Umberto Gelatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


As e-commerce and online pharmacies (OPs) arose, the potential impact of the Internet on the world of health shifted from merely the spread of information to a real opportunity to acquire health services directly. Aim of the study was to investigate the offer of prescription drugs in OPs, analysing their characteristics, using the content analysis method. The research performed using the Google search engine led to an analysis of 118 online pharmacies. Only 51 (43.2) of them stated their precise location. Ninety-six (81.4) online pharmacies did not require a medical prescription from the customers physician. Online pharmacies rise complex issues in terms of patientdoctor relationship, consumer empowerment, drug quality, regulation and public health implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-377
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Internet
  • Pharmaceutical preparations
  • Public health


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