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Consumer Reports

Online pharmacies put buyers at risk | (UPI) -- A new survey reveals Web sites selling non-prescription and complementary medicines do not provide enough information for consumers.

Despite established guidelines for such suppliers, they do not give enough advice for buyers to make good decisions about their health.

The findings, based on a look at 104 Internet pharmacies in 13 countries, are published in in the journal, Quality and Safety in Health Care.

The researchers found many Web sites lacked information on diseases and drugs.

If they did offer such information, the quality often was poor.

Consumers can purchase St. John's wort, for example, from a number of the sites surveyed.

However, only a fraction warned of possible serious drug interactions between the alternative therapy often used to treat depression and Prozac, a drug commonly prescribed for the same condition.

The authors noted the potential the Internet has to educate people on health, but said the e-pharmacies are not helping.

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