Online pharmacies the new fashion

Online pharmacies are mushrooming like mushrooms on the Internet, a phenomenon that until recently was observed only abroad.

However, Greek pharmacists now, together with Internet users, are now creating online stores with medicines, food supplements, hygiene items and cosmetics. It is essentially a new fashion that is breaking into cyberspace and is aimed at those who shop online in the hope of securing better prices.

Out of control

However, the problem is focused on the big gap that exists in the institutional framework, as today no one can control what exactly is sold, what is the quality, but also the origin of various preparations. Although in theory the sale of medicines, even non-prescription ones (MISYFA) is prohibited, there are many cases where one can find regular medicines and even with a discount.

As the president of the Association of Consumer Drug Companies, Vassilis Seretis, clarifies: "MISYFA should not be sold in online pharmacies because, first of all, they also have a coupon, like the drugs that are prescribed. Also, the whole legal framework describes them as preparations that should be given only by the hand of a pharmacist ".

One step back

But the evolution of technology seems to have far exceeded national laws. The economic crisis raises additional fears that there will be an even greater shift of citizens to medicines of dubious origin and quality due to their lower price. This phenomenon can have dangerous dimensions for public health, as serious side effects have already been reported abroad.

Official health agencies, such as the AEO, have issued warning announcements for young people in particular, as they handle the Internet better and better.

Fake preparations

The problem lies in the fact that many of the drugs on the Internet are counterfeit. According to estimates, at least 50% of the drugs circulating on the World Wide Web are counterfeit or counterfeit and of course not approved by the authorities, while many are of unknown origin.

Based on the calculations of the competent European authorities, approximately 2%-3% of the drugs that are generally distributed in the EU. are counterfeit, while it is estimated that they come from India and African countries. In Greece it seems that the percentage is currently limited to 1%, but there is strong concern that it will soon increase, as more and more people buy from the Internet preparations intended mainly for weight loss and erectile dysfunction, while dietary supplements are high on the list.

Huge turnover

However, the EU institutions also appear weak in the face of this globalized phenomenon of trade. Despite the instructions they issued to the Member States, they have not been able to stop the dangerous market for "electronic" medicines. In fact, it is estimated that the funds for the electronic distribution of drugs exceed 10 billion euros per year.