Internet pharmacies in Australia: Insight into operational aspects and website design

Chew, Sandy Sin-Ying and Emmerton, Lynne M. (2010) Internet pharmacies in Australia: Insight into operational aspects and website design. Australian Pharmacist, 29 8: 706-712.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Chew, Sandy Sin-Ying
Emmerton, Lynne M.
Title Internet pharmacies in Australia: Insight into operational aspects and website design
Journal name Australian Pharmacist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0728-4632
Publication date 2010-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 29
Issue 8
Start page 706
End page 712
Total pages 7
Editor J. Wissman
Place of publication Curtin, A.C.T., Australia
Publisher Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
Abstract Introduction: Internet pharmacies have become widely utilised by consumers seeking convenience and anonymity in medicine purchases. The objective of this study was to explore internet pharmacy practice in Australia with focus on the provision of Pharmacist Only Medicines. Method: Stage 1 involved review of Australian internet pharmacy websites against a checklist customised from published literature and Standards. The checklist was completed from a consumer's perspective and comprised website layout, access to health information, online advertising, and sale and supply of medicines. Stage 2 involved on-site interviews with staff of Brisbane internet pharmacies and observation of their supply practice. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Features of the practices were compared. Results: Twenty-six internet pharmacy websites were identified Australia-wide in January 2009 and reviewed. The majority promoted the availability of pharmacist advice, through various avenues, on Pharmacist Only Medicines. Of the six Brisbane internet pharmacies, staff of two practices were interviewed. Despite the practices' contrasting size, both had similar principles and dedicated staff for processing internet orders. Ensuring security and privacy of personal information was reportedly a challenge faced by internet pharmacies. Discussion: The website review identified generally high standards, although there was considerable variation in website design. Inability to communicate with the consumer face-to-face was found not to be a barrier to internet supply;this was supported by both website review and interview data. As a result, PSA supply protocols could be implemented where appropriate, although more guidance on data security is suggested for the Professional Practice Standards.
Keyword Internet pharmacies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes "This article has been independently peer reviewed."

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
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Created: Fri, 29 Oct 2010, 12:42:19 EST by Charna Kovacevic on behalf of School of Pharmacy