Buy Amoxicillin in Beardstown, Illinois
To examine the types of Web sites and vendors dispensing antibiotics on the Internet, we conducted a search using 2 major search engines (Google and Yahoo) and the key words "purchase antibiotics without prescription" and "online (English only). Self-administration of antibiotics occurs in all countries, but it is particularly problematic where the use of antimicrobials without a prescription is encouraged by the lack of laws restricting antibiotic sales or a failure to enforce the laws. That these companies can be located in countries outside US jurisdictions complicates enforcement of US laws. For this second group, no prescription from a doctor or clinical physician was necessary before gaining access to the site. Second, we examined whether the vendor would ship prescription antibiotics to a buyer in the United States, as well as several other countries (Canada, United Kingdom) where antibiotics are available only by prescription. We therefore wanted to find out if the amount of time between online evaluation and getting treatment was significantly longer. Recent evidence in ethnic communities in the United States indicates a high level of self-medication with antibiotics either obtained without a prescription in a foreign country and imported into the United States or acquired in the United States without a prescription at stores in ethnic communities. Our study suggests that the opposite might be the case. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies may need to monitor who is selling their products and through what mechanisms. Even with these strategies, however, it was difficult to know whether one corporation still owns and manages several locations. Third, we could not to determine how often pharmaceuticals purchased over the Internet were not genuine, inactive, out of date, or adulterated. Our study is the first to document this phenomenon, and we describe the mechanism for purchasing antibiotics online; future studies will need to document the scope of antibiotics purchased through this mechanism to better understand its direct implications for antibiotic resistance. As websites appear and disappear at a relative frequency, searches and classifications were performed during the first week of September 2008. In conclusion, antibiotics are freely available for purchase over the Internet without a prescription, and the general structure of transactions encourages self-medication and poor quality care. Although providing over-the-counter drugs is illegal in the United States, failure to enforce US laws likely encourages these companies to sell their products to patients. Thus, vendors targeting foreign-language speakers in the United States would have been missed.