One in ten Germans buy medicine over the internet

Traditional local pharmacies in Germany have every reason to be worried, given that about seven million Germans have already bought medicine online which is ten percent of Germans older than fourteen. This applies to both freely available medicine as well as medicine obtainable on prescription only. In particular popular is the online purchase of medicine among Germans in the age group between 50 and 64 years. In this age bracket one in seven Germans have already bought drugs from an internet pharmacy (14.3 %). The reason for this is the fact that medicine can be purchased from internet pharmacies at prices which are quite often significantly lower than prices offered by traditional pharmacies. This was revealed in the course of a study carried out by BITKOM.

Among people aged between 30 and 49 online purchasers account for 13.4 % of all purchasers in this age bracket. Significantly more cautious, however, are people older than 65 years of age. Only 5.5% of these people have already bought drugs over the internet.

Online purchase of medicine is particular appealing to people who always buy the same drugs and who do not need any counselling from the pharmacist. Chronically ill people like diabetics may save a lot of money buying drugs online. Online purchases are also appealing to working people as well as to people whose mobility is limited due to illness or age or who live far away from a pharmacy.

However, there are also dubious sources offering drugs on the internet. In particular counterfeit lifestyle products such as virility-enhancing pills, hair restorers, diet pills or muscle-enhancing substances are often advertised for on the internet. GERMAN