What is an Internet pharmacy?
If a mail-order pharmacy sells its medicines online, it must be publicly visible and registered with the responsible regulatory authority and is monitored by this authority. In Germany, for example, this would be the BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) and in Austria the BASG (Federal Office for Safety in Health Care). A detailed list of all responsible EU regulatory authorities can be found here. To protect consumers from counterfeit medicines, the quality requirements specified in the German Medicines Act and the associated Distance Selling Regulation are met by the respective regulatory authority. This ensures that only legal medicines that meet the requirements are sold.
Note: Within Austria, such Internet service providers may only sell over-the-counter medications that are approved in Austria - if these medications come from another EU country, they may not be sold or delivered to that country.
How do I recognize a legal Internet pharmacy?
A registered pharmacy offering medicines online can be recognized by the presence of a logo with a white cross, green lettering and a matching national flag (i.e. the location of the Internet pharmacy and the medicines authority) on its website. Clicking on this logo will take you to the appropriate regulatory authority.
There may also be mail order pharmacies that are already listed in the register but are not yet in operation.
In general, we distinguish two types of Internet pharmacies:
Mail-order pharmacy or "mail-order pharmacies".
Mail-order pharmacies in the classical sense are pharmacies open to the public, which have a permit to ship medicines. This allows buyers to order the drugs by mail, telephone or online at an associated website.
Platformem in the field of quick commerce
Compared to traditional mail order pharmacies, online platforms (website, app) do not belong to a public pharmacy that offers the shipment of medicines, but are companies that cooperate with different partner pharmacies. The platforms take care of the ordering process and delivery, similar to e.g. Lieferando or Mjam, but they are not allowed to sell medicines themselves. As a result, medicines can be delivered to the doorstep within one hour of ordering within the delivery area. In Austria, there are also some delivery platforms such as Gurkerl, which now also offer certain medicines, but in this article we have compared mail-order pharmacies and platforms that specialize in medicines. We compared the following mail-order pharmacies in the process:
Market Share: The percentage of visitors to a website in relation to the total number of visitors in the entire competitive group.
Bouncing Rate:The bounce rate shows the percentage of visitors who call up a website but do not perform any action and leave the website again after visiting only a single page.