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Is Consumer Health and Safety in Jeopardy With the implementation of Self-Prescription Drug Internet Sites Amanda C Feitner GUS 72-001 Urban Affairs-Consumers In the Marketplace Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities Prof John E Kelly JD April 17 2000 The expeditious augmentation of consumer product transactions taking place on the Internet have developed new risk for the publics health and safety especially with the rise of online self-prescription drug sites Online Pharmacies have been created to benefit the consumer but pose many risks for credulous purchasers increased health fraud and unique challenges to regulators law enforcement and policymakers With these latest technological advancements former regulations utilized by the Food and Drug Administration FDA concerning the distribution of prescription and over the counter drugs have to some extent become obsolete This has required that the FDA along with the combined efforts of other organizations such as the Federal Trade Commission FTC create new regulations to protect consumers The evolution of online prescription Internet sites has brought several advantages to consumers allowing individuals to attain ever-increasing amounts of knowledge to improve their understanding of health issues and treatment options Last year alone more than 22 million Americans used the Internet to find medical information According to Investors Business Daily 43 of web surfers access health care data online each year Health concerns are the sixth most common reason people use the Internet and according to the market research firm Cyber Dialogue Inc this number is growing 70 percent a year The leading attractions to purchasing consumer products online are speed privacy ease of choosing and ordering products and reduction in possible prescription errors with the use of computer technology to transmit prescriptions from doctors to pharmacies Other benefits include lower prices through increased competition among licensed sellers greater availability of drugs for people with difficulties causing inability to get to the pharmacy or people
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