This same year, a European logo accredit pharmacies selling prescription medications online. In Spain, only able to market these drugs and apply the seal the physics-based pharmacies and have a system for patient counseling. The government begins to regulate an industry with so little market yet, but it has raised serious concerns about the proliferation of counterfeit drugs and websites selling products.
The six years after the approval of the Medicines Act, Which indicated that can only sell "by electronic means" these preparations authorized pharmacies and pharmaceutical intervention. However, the norm at that point was pending development, starting now that Spain must transpose two EU directives on pharmacy.
The measure, which will unify the European market, has attracted much criticism in countries like France, where Internet sales of OTC drugs was not allowed. In Spain, pharmacists had spent years asking for more control.
The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products(Competent Authority), under the Ministry of Health, will coordinate to autonomy-that have jurisdiction in the matter, to determine the requirements for pharmacies to obtain the stamp. Has not yet been determined what the patient advisory system will be required, how to apply for the seal, or if all accredited pharmacies selling drugs without prescription-painkillers, anti-diarrhea, anti-inflammatory medication ... - online must be in a public list, as requested by Spanish Society of Community Pharmacy (Sefac).
Bethlehem Clerk, responsible for inspection and control of the Competent Authority, aims to apply pharmacies may only legally established in Spain. In this country, are legal only pharmacies that have a physical location and in which there is a pharmacist. This, together with the future regulation that specifically determined, is a barrier to the opening of pharmacies online only.
Vicente Baixauli Sefac VP criticizes the government's delay to regulate Internet sales. "Right now there are online pharmacies that sell drugs without prescription. However, nothing guarantees the buyer that what you buy is what you really need, and has security guarantees. The current loophole hurts the user, and can not be repeated, "he says. For him, the regulation should include not only the European label, which, according Escribano, allow users to identify web sites "legit" - and also strictly mechanisms so the pharmacist can advise the buyer. "Pharmacists, in the case of non-prescription drugs, act as a filter. We asked people what use they want to give the product, we advise and inform them of the potential effects and interactions of these drugs with others who are taking. How will you ensure that if the sale is done online? Who can guarantee that the user is not lying? "He says.
That is one of the most criticized also by the French apothecaries, who believe that this measure is called to encourage self-medication. "The patient will be encouraged also to buy in bulk to avoid shipping costs," stresses Elizabeth Adenot, president of the National Council of the Order of Pharmacists of France in a note.
In this country, most pharmacies have, with the permission of the buyers, a pharmacist history of users. A dossier can consult the professional, but will not be available if the purchase is made online something, criticize, can cause additional problems of data confidentiality of patients. "The approval of the sale online can be legally inevitable, but is sanitary untimely and dangerous to public health," say.
And, althoughregulations allow only the sale of non-prescription drugs, these products are not safe. What happens, for example, diet drugs, although you can buy without a prescription are not at all suitable for all ages or weights? In a normal pharmacy, at which point the pharmacist would act as a barrier. And in an online pharmacy? "For there to be a rational has to be regulation, and the Internet can not be a mechanism to skip it," adds Baixauli.
European texts adopted now Spain and sector regulation also aim to unify, to fight the growing market of counterfeit drugs, which has been strong on the Internet. Only in 2011, the authorities have found and seized 3,936 of these products, 93% more than the previous year. In addition, 125 sites were investigated and 73 cases were opened.
"It's about fighting with all mechanisms against the marketing of counterfeit drugs and there is no doubt that the Internet can be a door for them," says Escribano. In Spain, the dense network of pharmacies out there and the low price of these facpsychotropes without prescription, which would increase the cost of shipping-not favor the departure of online pharmacies. Users who go to these pathways are mainly interested, according to a report by the General Council of Pharmacists, confidentiality, anonymity. Some used the lack of controls to access untrusted and dispensing prescription drugs.