Report: Non-Prescription COVID-19 Treatments Available on the Web Demonstrate Heightened Need for Online Pharmacy Safety

Five Laptops with Pills on the Screens and a Search Bar

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased online purchases and heightened interest in existing treatments. Dexamethasone, hydroxychloroquine, and lopinavir-ritonavir have been touted as potential COVID-19 treatments. This 2022 study assessed the availability of 3 potential COVID-19 treatments online and evaluated the safety and marketing characteristics of websites selling these products during the pandemic.

The study documented that illegitimate online pharmacies sidestep prescription requirements, skirt pharmacist counseling, and make false claims regarding efficacy for COVID-19 treatment.

Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol. 24 Issue 2 (2022)

Authors: Sachiko Ozawa1, MHS, PhD; Joanna Billings, PharmD; Yujiao Sun, PharmD; Sushan Yu, PharmD; Benjamin Penley, PharmD

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