How Internet Changes The World Pharmaceuticals
The pharmaceutical branch holds a great importance in the US economy, both production and consumption are vital. The leader in pharmaceuticals consumptions, the country’s value of consumption as for the 2011 was $320 billion, which is around 42% of the global market share (a 5% increase is observed since 2003).
The total value generated by domestic manufacturers equaled $142bn. in 2009, demonstrating an impressive 65% increase in comparison with 2003.
Less costly generic alternatives account for 75% of remedies prescribed, which is largely caused by a range of patent expirations. In spite of the high volume, generics account for just 25% of domestic sales. The United States depends on imports to take care of the demand for physician endorsed medications. As for the consumed volume, nearly 40% of the medications consumed by US citizens are imported products. As for the quality, the United States still leads the world in pharmaceutical production, accounting for 39 percent of world production.
In accordance with AARP (non-profit organization, established in 1958) market research, branded pharmaceuticals have made a price surge in price by 13%. The constantly growing prices of prescription medications and the rising popularity of ecommerce stores has led to the fact that Americans have started to purchase drugs from online pharmacies more frequently. Regulating the internet is tough, and while some companies conduct their businesses on a fully legal basis, others take advantage of the state of affairs to plunge into money making. This is where counterfeit products take their roots from.
The authoritative FDA claim the value of the counterfeit drugs has reached $80 billion by 2014. A series of online pharmacies investigations has revealed that almost 97% of 10,275 websites offering pharmaceuticals fail to comply with state or federal regulations, industry standards and guidelines. At the same time, a FDA research as of 2013 says that 1,380 out of 6,000 respondents (or 23%) have used the web to order drugs. An overwhelming majority admitted that the resources they’ve been using were largely non-US based (Europe, India, China and many more).
The study initiated by Washington University in St. Louis has found out that the frequency of side effects is higher in those respondents buying the drugs on the internet. Nevertheless, the result is argued due to the fact that such patients largely practice self-treatment and undergo no professional observation.
According to Doctor Jackson of WU, poor quality or fake products put the public health in jeopardy given the incredible tempo the online sales are growing at. The worrying statistics catch the attention with the share of cancer and heart remedies that has nothing to do with efficiency – at best scenario people buy placebo at sky-high prices.
The one-day online pharmacies tend to sell poor quality products under the guise of cost-efficient solutions and alternatives to costly medications. However, the cases where purchased online pills contain arsenic, boric acid, chalk and even a range of toxins happen from time to time.
Nevertheless, the FDA warnings, US customers still tend to purchase drugs online. A rich in marks and estimations research by NBER (nber.org) that involved 2,520 respondents shopping for drugs online reveals a number of interesting tendencies and unexpected numbers. Thus, almost 74% of the respondents purchase drugs at non-US pharmacies, the rest part admitted they purchase drugs from both US and non-US platforms. In general the respondents were critical about FDA guidelines as for shopping online, and a negligible amount of participants admitted they follow the FDA recommendations.
So why do people buy from pharmacies they are recommended to avoid? The main reason behind such intent in slightly more than 92% of users was cost saving. The four relatively large groups admitted better customer service (12.50%), the absence of the drug in the local pharmacies (12%), better accessibility (13%), the absence of insurance and insurance not covering the medication (16% and 28% accordingly).
Big players pulling the plug
A negative impact of FDA warning against non-US pharmacies lies in constraining pricing rivalry between US and overseas companies. The recent agreement between Google and the US government forces the media-giant not to promote overseas drug stores and just show US-based pharmacies, approved by LegitScript, a far-famed verification and monitoring service.
Since LegitScript precludes any overseas sites because drug importation is in fact illicit, this will include considerably more troubles for US shoppers to find credible outside platforms. In accordance with economic theories, the lack of arbitrage will fortify a producer’s capacity to manipulate pricing across diverse business sectors, if it has some business power. This infers that the significant expense cuts on brand-name medications due to purchasing from remote sites could develop much bigger after some time and the access to these savings is shutting, due to restriction on the legitimateness of medication importation.
Though it seems that online sales restriction trend will inevitably gain momentum. The state of affairs in Europe is no less troublous. According to EAASM (EU Alliance for Access to Safe Medications), over 60% of prescription drugs purchased online were either counterfeit or fake. Nearly 25% of purchased online pills appeared to be causing more adverse effects in comparison with the drugs from approved stores.
The Big Pharma companies, like Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson, have published the researches revealing that over 15% of UK adults have been purchasing prescription drugs with no prescription (the traditional set of weight loss, erectile dysfunction and hair regrowth products hold the leadership in terms of sales volumes). Although the local regulation prohibits purchasing the drugs without prescription, it doesn’t really influence situation to the necessary extent. Therefore, just like US government, EU authorities introduce more strict regulation.
The research was performed editorship Canadian Health&Care Mall – www.acanadianhealthcaremall.com