Online Pharmacy:

Description:

With the contemporary shift toward global internet usage, Electronic Medical Records have been on the forefront of medical discussion. Online Pharmacies are a logical "next step" for EMR's, as they will simplify and streamline the medical process for all parties involved. The globalization of the internet has allowed the concept of online pharmacies to flourish. In fact, since 2000 they have been growing in numbers. Many of the online pharmacies are now pushing for the importation of medication from other countries, such as Europe and Canada, as that will allow them to reduce their operating costs and the overall cost to their customers. The implemenation of EMR's will allow for the solution of E-Prescribing that has many benefits such as improved patient safety and the reduction of prescription costs. Approximately three billion prescriptions are written annually making prescription filling one of the largest paper based processes in the United States. Wasting paper is hardly the most important problem that comes along with written prescriptions, about 7,000 patients die annually from prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting, incorrect dosages, and drug interactions and allergies that could most likely have been avoided with the use of E-Prescribing.

However beneficial, the aforementioned method of medication importation has been for paying consumers; it has not been without abuse. The instances of this abuse have not gone unnoticed, and now the need for regulation and enforcement of online pharmacies is a tangible issue. Unfortunately, the regulation of pharmaceuticals has been less than stellar, with many organizations such as the FDA and Department of Homeland Security creating vague and limited laws relating to importation. On the other hand, localized enforcement has been a fact of life for some, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, many customers of online pharmacies were arrested for possession of controlled substances. The dichotomy presented is an unfortunate truth that is only further encouraging abuse of the internet and national/foreign laws. According to the white paper "You've Got Drugs" IV:, there was an increased 187 websites labeled as Rogue Online Pharmacies that are prescribing controlled substances like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Valium, and Ritalin. Many of these online drug pushers don't require a prescription and some allow patients to fax prescriptions that can easily be forged and are hardly verified. Also of the 187 pharmacies in 2007, only two of these were verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites.

Applications:

  • Buying medication online: Cheaper and easier.
  • Easy distribution of medication.
  • Emergency management applications.
  • Less errors in prescribing medication.
  • Increased restriction of unverified online pharmacies.



Web Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_pharmacy
http://academic.udayton.edu/health/syllabi/health/Unit03/lesson20e.htm

http://www.emrconsultant.com/


Related Terminology:

Pharmacy
Electronic Commerce
E-Prescribing

Citations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_pharmacy
http://academic.udayton.edu/health/syllabi/health/Unit03/lesson20e.htm

http://www.drugstore.com
http://www.nabp.net
http://www.emrconsultant.com/emr_ePrescribing.php

http://www.casacolumbia.org/absolutenm/templates/PressReleases.aspx?articleid=492&zoneid=65

Graphics:

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