Drugs for sexual dysfunction among most commonly purchased online

October 14, 2004

Among American adults, the Internet is a popular place to seek out information about prescription drugs, although only a small percentage actually purchase them online, according to results of a new survey.

Among American adults, the Internet is a popular place to seek out information about prescription drugs, although only a small percentage actually purchase them online, according to results of a new survey. Of those who do buy prescription drugs online, one-fourth report that their last purchase was a product for sexual dysfunction or weight loss.

One-fourth of Americans (26%) have used the Internet to look for information about drugs, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which conducted the 2-month telephone survey of 2,200 American adults. Only 4% of respondents said they have ever purchased prescription drugs on the Internet.

Three-fourths of online drug purchasers reported that the last time they bought drugs online, they bought a drug for a chronic medical condition such as hypertension or arthritis, and one-fourth said they purchased a drug for another purpose, such as weight loss or sexual performance.

Also, 63% of Internet users have received unsolicited e-mail advertising a sexual health medication. Seventy-one percent of male Internet users received such pitches, compared with 56% of female users.