One in four Germans has already ordered medication online

A quarter of Germans have already ordered medication online
More and more people in Germany are ordering medication online. For many, this is more convenient than going to the pharmacy, sometimes online medicines are also cheaper. According to a current survey, preparations that are associated with a sense of shame are bought on the Internet in particular.

Order medication conveniently online
More and more Germans are ordering medication online. For many, this is the more convenient option. On the Internet, both prescription and non-prescription medicines can be ordered anywhere and at any time and paid for without cash. In addition, over-the-counter medications on the Internet are often significantly cheaper than in the on-site pharmacy due to the lower fixed costs. The funds are usually delivered to the desired address within a few days. In the meantime, some online pharmacies also rely on specialist advice - by phone, email or live chat. A recent survey shows how popular the purchase of medicines on the Internet is.

Fear of counterfeit medicines
According to a report by the news magazine "Focus", a quarter of Germans have already ordered medication online, a quarter of them from a foreign address. Furthermore, 15 percent of German pharmacists state that they have already been asked by customers whether a medicinal product purchased on the way of dispatch is a counterfeit or not. These are the results of a representative survey in Hesse and a nationwide pharmacist survey led by criminologist Karlhans Liebl from the University of the Saxon Police. The concern is understandable. In the past, for example, warnings were given that the risk of receiving counterfeit medicines was particularly high when ordering online.

"Preparations that are associated with a sense of shame"
Liebl stated in “Focus”: “People prefer to buy preparations that are associated with a sense of shame on the Internet.” These included, for example, sexual enhancers or anti-depressants. However, according to the criminologist's experience, “a good 95 percent of the anti-depressants available from unauthorized sellers are fakes”. Caution should also be exercised when it comes to erection aids: the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) only recently warned of a counterfeit erectile enhancer from Greece. According to the magazine, Liebl cannot give a 100% sure indication that an Internet address is a reputable mail-order pharmacy. He recommends: "Look for an imprint, and if there is one, an address in Germany or an EU country is at least a little reassuring." Experts have pointed out in the past that reputable online pharmacies only sell medicines on prescription if they require a prescription. (ad)

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