ATTITUDE OF PATIENTS AND CUSTOMERS REGARDING
PURCHASING DRUGS ONLINE

SZÉKELY PÁL1, KELEMEN LÁSZLÓ2, FITTLER ANDRÁS3, HANCU GABRIEL4, FINTA
HAJNAL5, CIURBA ADRIANA6, SIPOS EMESE1*, BOTZ LAJOS3
1University of Medicine and Pharmacy Târgu Mureș, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Industry and
Pharmaceutical Management, Tîrgu Mureș, Romania
2Gedeon Richter Romania, Tîrgu Mureș, Romania
3University of Pécs, Pharmaceutical Institute, Pécs, Hungary
4University of Medicine and Pharmacy Târgu Mureș, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Tîrgu
Mureș, Romania
5University of Medicine and Pharmacy Târgu Mureș, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Hygiene, Tîrgu Mureș, Romania
6University of Medicine and Pharmacy Târgu Mureș, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology,
Tîrgu Mureș, Romania
*corresponding author: sipos.emese@yahoo.com
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Abstract:

The expansion of Internet has made healthcare products, like drugs, which were previously available only with the physician
recommendation, freely available to patients and customers through illegal practices or counterfeit medicine. The current
paper aims to assess the situation of Internet related medicine acquisition and consumption, by surveying patients and
customers of community pharmacies. The survey included 253 patients of 9 pharmacies from 5 different cities from
Romania; data was collected using the questionnaire method. Based on the results of our survey, 8.3% of the respondents
already ordered medicinal products via Internet and 7.1% were intending to do so in the near future. Those who ordered
medicines from the Internet are typically between 18 and 34 years, have high school or university education and are usually
men. Most of the respondents were unaware about the potential qualitative differences between medical products purchased
on the Internet and those sold in conventional pharmacies. Such data represent a warning sign, as increasing attention should
be sought towards the problem of online acquired medicines during routine patient care.






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