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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Sep;23(9):1050-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03248.x. Epub 2009 May 6.

Shopping for psoriasis medications on the Internet.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, Boulogne-Billancourt, France. emmanuel.mahe@apr.aphp.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Numerous consumer products, including medicines, can be bought over the Internet. Previous reports indicate that patients are able to purchase the current available treatments, including expensive systemic and biological agents with side-effects, available for use on an outpatient basis. In France, as in most industrialized countries, these drug treatments are available only by prescription. Objective To evaluate whether psoriatic outpatients can buy the full range of psoriasis medications, including biological therapies, without a prescription, via the Internet.

METHODS:

One investigator acted as a consumer to purchase psoriasis treatments and complementary medicines over the Internet. The website search was limited to a 4-h period. All products had to be available for delivery in France, without a prescription, and be suitable for outpatient use. Key words for the Internet search were combinations of medicinal product names, 'psoriasis', 'shopping', 'pharmacy', 'parapharmacy', entered into two major search engines, Google and Yahoo.

RESULTS:

The investigator identified 47 websites offering a total of 340 products. All treatments, including biological therapies (etanercept, adalumimab and efaluzimab), were available for purchase with the exception of calcitriol and alefacept, with median prices being higher than the French price.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that it is possible for consumers to purchase the majority of treatments for psoriasis via the Internet, including systemic therapies and even the most recent and expensive products such as biological agents, without a prescription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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