A4 - Internet pharmacy – Risks versus benefits

Conference Hall A - Section D

Organised by FIP’s Social and Administrative Pharmacy Section, in collaboration with the Community Pharmacy Section and the Health and Medicines Information Section


Yejide Oseni (Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Nigeria)


Technology, which was first developed to facilitate communication, has now grown into a global network of computer systems that link multiple platforms and create interrelationships between governments, academic institutions, businesses and consumers. Implementing healthcare based on information system and technologies (e.g. e-health) had been proposed as a way to improve health services. Hence, the scope of pharmacy practice has expanded to the provision of pharmaceutical services via the internet.

The World Health Organization had called on its member states to tighten control on the sales of medical products through the internet. Since drugs are regulated products and the need for consideration of ethical issues in access to medicines is important, these expanded services have both advantages and disadvantages, hence the need for the establishment of regulatory framework, if their advantages are to outweigh the risk associated with it, in the long run.


09:00 – 09:10 Introduction by the chair

  1. 09:10 – 09:45 Selected country case studies for online pharmaceutical care services
    Ukamaka Okafor (Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Nigeria)
  2. 09:45 – 10:20 What are the advantages and disadvantages to accessing medicines on-line: High-income country perspective
    Filipa Alves da Costa (University of Lisbon, Portugal)

10:20 -10:40 Coffee/tea break

  1. 10:40 – 11:05 What are the advantages and disadvantages to accessing medicines on-line: Low- and middle-income country (LMIC) perspective
    Azmi Hassali (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
  2. 11:05 – 11:30 An overview of ethical and legal ramifications for the delivery of medicines and pharmaceutical care services online
    Ardalan Mirzaei (The University of Sydney, Australia)
  3. 11:30 – 11:50 Panel discussion: Consumer and pharmacist expectations for the delivery of pharmaceutical care services online

11:50 – 11:55 Conclusion by the chair

11:55 – 12:00 Room refresh

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Investigate the scope of online pharmaceutical services vis-à-vis medicine procurement, distribution, online prescriptions, internet drug information, pharmaceutical care services, etc.
  2. Evaluate the advantages and risks associated with access to medicine online
  3. Analyse consumer use of the internet for medicine information and access to medicines and its implications on health
  4. Evaluate some country case studies of online pharmacy services with the aim of assessing their appropriateness and adaptability.

Type of session: Application-based