Online prescribing - the need for greater regulation
Unless controls are introduced, online prescribing will continue to be big business
- By: Jeremy Sims
The internet has become a wonderful tool for the dissemination of information. It offers a medium that is unhindered by geographical barriers, and the opportunities to utilise its power for delivering and receiving information are almost boundless. Yet, ironically, the unbridled nature of the internet has created one of the medical world's great dilemmas - how to control effectively the unethical and all too often illegal practices of online prescribing.
The incredible popularity of the drug Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has emphasised the challenges facing regulatory bodies in this matter. Viagra is now the fastest selling drug on the internet, and within days of its approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the world wide web was awash with sites urging consumers to purchase the anti-impotence drug in the comfort of their homes. Everyone, it seemed, had dollar signs in their eyes as they competed for a share