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


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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