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We classified Web sites of vendors according to several variables. The first 300 search results of on both sites were examined to identify vendors for antibiotics that did not require a prescription. In addition, the ability of Internet-based companies to exist without an identifiable physical location or property makes the location and writing of FDA instructions extremely difficult. The frequency of relevant Web sites declined substantially after the first 300. 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. This study was not meant to be an exhaustive census of these sites, primarily because with the questionable legality of some of these practices, these sites rapidly come and go. Other providers are trying to upset this law by providing online diagnoses and prescriptions based on medical records without a physical examination and without a long relationship between the patient and the doctor, a practice that is not considered an adequate standard of care. Thus, vendors targeting foreign-language speakers in the United States would have been missed. Although more than half of the identified sites provided online consultation for prescribing, the lack of interaction between the patient and the doctor did not lead to any opportunity for patient education. 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. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies may need to monitor who is selling their products and through what mechanisms. Our final list of URLs included 184 links to single vendors of antibiotics. 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). Our purchase arrived from Mexico with no information on instructions for use of the medication. If those who are self-medicating are taught that they put their own health at risk, they may be less likely to use these online pharmacies. The US Food and Drug Administration forbids ordering prescription drugs from outside the United States: Thus, in virtually all instances, individual citizens are prohibited from importing prescription drugs into the United States.