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Qual Saf Health Care 12:86 doi:10.1136/qhc.12.2.86
  • Commentary
  • Internet pharmacies

A call for internet pharmacies to comply with quality standards

  1. C W Anderson
  1. Reader in Pharmacy Practice and Social Pharmacy, The Pharmacy School, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK; claire.anderson@nottingham.ac.uk

      Internet pharmacies need to consider the quality of their services and to comply with the standards set for them by national pharmaceutical associations.

      Consumers are increasingly being encouraged to adopt a philosophy of self-care; the internet allows people to obtain advice about treatment and medicines at their own convenience. Studies indicate that there are many inaccuracies in health information on the internet, and a widely varying quality of information with patients in essence taking a “lucky dip” as to which site they choose to view and how good the quality of information is. There may be even greater problems if the sites offer to supply medicines as in the case of many e-pharmacies. It appears that very few e-pharmacies provide the facility for customers to have a meaningful consultation with a pharmacist. A number of national pharmaceutical organisations have developed ethical guidance regarding the operation of e-pharmacies, …

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