RealTime IT News

Study: 89 Percent Approve of Online Drug Sales

[Berlin, GERMANY] A majority of online users approve of the sale of medicinal drugs over the Internet, yet the opportunities already available for such sales are still approached with great caution. Consumer uncertainty is the main reason for this.

This was the result of a study of 1000 German Internet users carried out by MediaTransfer, a Hamburg-based research and consulting institute.

89 percent of the online users questioned believe that the sale of medicinal drugs on the Web should be authorized. This is a decisive vote in light of the current legal battles over Internet pharmacies. Better prices and the ease of online shopping are seen as definite advantages.

About one in ten people say that they have already ordered drugs or other healthcare products online. 21 percent intend to do so in 2001. This shows the considerable gap between the acceptance of online pharmacies and the readiness to purchase products from them.

The biggest inhibition in visiting an online pharmacy is the lack of professional consultation. But muddy legal issues and insufficient information on the products purchased are also seen as major problems.

"The main obstacle for the branch is the lack of market transparency. Up to now, it has not really been possible for any supplier to build up a familiar name brand that can win the confidence of a broad spectrum of users," says Andreas Ohde, senior project manager at MediaTransfer AG.

It is therefore not surprising that hardly any of the Internet users questioned could even name a single online pharmacy. DocMorris achieved a 7.5 percent degree of familiarity, but other suppliers remained beneath the one percent mark.