Consumer Use of Computerized Applications to Address Health and Health Care Needs. Research and purchase prescription drugs

03/01/2009

One aspect of treatment that sparks some interest among online searchers is prescription drugs. In a 2004 study, 21% of adults said they had looked online for that type of information, while another 5% said someone else had conducted such a search on their behalf.[112] Yet only 4% or 5% of Americans say they have purchased prescription drugs online.[113] Part of the reason for these relatively low numbers may be that only 5% of those surveyed who were insured reported that they were required to use mail-in or online systems to order certain prescription drugs.[114] A small number of individuals reported using the internet for other drug-related purposes. Only 2% of individuals in a 2003 survey who had taken at least one prescription drug in the past year said they had contacted their physician over email or secure message to ask for a prescription.[115] (However, conversations with representatives from provider groups that offer the ability to request prescription refills online state that it is a popular feature.)

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