Many online pharmacies sell medicines that are actually prescription-free, without a prescription.
In about 90 percent of tested providers, it was possible to order drugs without a prescription. A similar finding comes from a study by the US National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) . About 85 percent of the 365 pharmacies ship drugs such as Ritalin and Valium without a prescription. 42 percent of retailers even point out to customers that they do not take it so seriously with the prescription requirement. After all, 45 percent offer consultations online. In 13 percent of shops, the topic “recipe” did not even come up for discussion. Above all, the testers complain that the lack of control even makes it possible for children and adolescents to obtain addictive substances.
In Germany, the mail-order business with medications is already enormous, especially for psychotropic drugs and sedatives. If one is allowed to believe the information provided by the traders, customers often ask for drugs from the group of benzodiazepines, unless they are considered to be narcotics. A Google search for the keyword “Valium without a prescription” provides about 400,000 links.
The Federal Association of USA Pharmacist Associations has been pointing to the grievances for years. She would like a complete ban on mail-order medicine. However, the Federal Ministry of Health is on the side of dealers. It initiated 2004 a release under certain conditions. Thus, the trade in the internet is allowed in Germany. The Ministry thus followed the view of the European Court of Justice, which ruled in a December 2003 ruling that drug delivery across borders is also compatible with EU law. In its judgment of July 21, 2006, the Frankfurt district court finally declared that prescriptions for prescription medicines, including those from other EU countries, were allowed.
The leading dealers in the USA market are confirmed by these and similar judgments in their attitude. In principle, some shops do not ask for recipes because, according to the operators, they are not effective to control. Unlike a narcotic recipe, “normal” prescriptions are easy to fake. In addition, they are not registered to a central database. Nevertheless, experts estimate that the abusive orders account for less than 1 percent of the volume.
Doctors and pharmacists are faced with the task of meeting the ever-increasing availability of medicines by better informing and educating patients. At least the worst fear so far has not come true: The number of drug-dependent patients has not risen as expected, but is stagnating at an intermediate level.