computer keyboard displaying pillCanadians want access to online pharmacies but prefer they be government regulated, according to a consumer study released Wednesday.

Study reveals Canadian consumer perceptions of online pharmacies

Almost two-thirds of Canadian citizens think they should have the option to purchase their prescription medication online, but 80 per cent want the government to regulate those sales.

These are among the findings of a study released Wednesday by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The study was conducted by Innovative Research Group in consultation with UWindsor business professor Anne Snowdon, chair of the World Health Innovation Network.

“The study’s findings profile the consumer’s expectations that online pharmacy services must be accountable to ensure safe practices,” Dr. Snowdon said. “The importance of public awareness, education and enforcement to protect Canadians’ safety is clearly evident.”

Respondents cited convenience and lower prices as the perceived benefits of online pharmacies, while receiving wrong or counterfeit medicines are the biggest concerns. The results were released at the “Spotlight on Illegal Online Sales of Medicine” symposium hosted by the ASOP Global Foundation in Washington, D.C.

The World Health Innovation Network (WIN), based at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor, brokers partnerships to source, embed, and scale innovations in health systems.

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