The online doctor is a term that emerged during the 2000s, used by both the media and academics to describe a generation of doctors and health professionals. Who provide medical care, including prescription drugs, on the Internet.
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Emergence of e-Medicine
In the 2000s, many people regarded the Internet as primary, at least a major—also source of information and communication. Health advice is now the second most popular topic, after porn, that people search for on the Internet. With broadband and video conferencing. And many people have turned to online doctor for consultations and prescription drug purchases. There are many advantages to using this technology for both physician and patient. Also including cost savings, convenience, accessibility, and improved privacy and communication.
In the United States, a 2006 study found that searching for information on prescription or over-the-counter drugs was the fifth most popular search topic. And a 2004 study found that 4% of Americans had purchased prescription drugs online. A 2009 survey by the Geneva-based Health On the Net Foundation found that one in ten Europeans buy medicines on websites. And a third say they use online consultations. In Germany, around seven million people buy from mail-order pharmacies and – order sales represent approximately 8 to 10% of total pharmaceutical sales.
In 2008, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain reported that around two million people in Great Britain regularly bought pharmaceuticals online . Also in (both with a prescription from the UK registered doctors online and over the counter from other websites). A recent survey by Pfizer, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the RPSGB, the Patients Association and HEART UK found that 15% of UK adults surveyed had purchased a prescription medicine online.
In developed countries, many online doctor prescribe “lifestyle drugs.” As for weight loss, hair loss or erectile dysfunction. The RPSGB has identified the most popular products prescribed online as Prozac (an antidepressant), Viagra (for erectile dysfunction), Valium (a tranquillizer), Ritalin (a psychostimulant). And Serostim (a synthetic growth hormone). And Provigil (a psychostimulant). A study in the United States also showed that antibiotics are commonly available online without a prescription.
Traditionalist critics argue that an online doctor cannot provide proper examinations or diagnoses by email or video call. Such consultations, they say, will always be dangerous. Also with the possibility of missing severe illnesses. There is also a fear that the lack of proximity could lead to treatment by unqualified doctors or patients using false information to obtain dangerous drugs.
Advocates argue that there is little difference between an email consultation and the type of telephone assessment. And advice that physicians routinely conduct outside of business hours or in circumstances where physicians cannot physically examine a patient (for example, medical from the jungle).
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