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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 6 (2004) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4694


Title: Swiss Community Pharmacies' on the Web and Pharmacists' Experiences with E-commerce: Longitudinal study and Internet-based questionnaire survey
Authors: Zehnder, Simon
Bruppacher, Rudolf
Ruppanner, Hans
Hersberger, Kurt E
Keywords: Original Paper
Web site
community pharmacies
professional-patient relations
quality of health care
e-commerce
e-pharmacies
Switzerland
Issue Date: 3-Mar-2004
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Simon Zehnder, Rudolf Bruppacher, Hans Ruppanner, Kurt E Hersberger. Swiss Community Pharmacies' on the Web and Pharmacists' Experiences with E-commerce: Longitudinal study and Internet-based questionnaire survey. J Med Internet Res 2004;6(1):e9 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2004/1/e9/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2004/1/e9/ ] Background: There are multiple ways in which community pharmacies can present themselves on the Internet, e.g., as a platform for drug information or as an advertising platform for their services. Objective: To estimate the number of Swiss community pharmacies on the Internet over the period of 32 months (2000-2003), to describe their current e-commerce services, and to explore the experiences and plans these pharmacies have with regard to their Internet presence. Methods: A longitudinal study was performed to determine the number of Swiss German pharmacies on the Internet by conducting Internet searches in 2000, 2001, and 2003. In April 2002, a cross-sectional Internet-based survey was administered to explore the pharmacies' experiences and plans regarding their Web sites. Results: As of April 2003, 373 (44%) of 852 community pharmacies from the German speaking part of Switzerland were on the Internet. One hundred eighty four listed an e-mail address and were asked to complete a questionnaire. Of the 107 pharmacies answering the survey questions (58% response rate): 46% had been on the Internet for 1 to 2 years; 33% of the Web sites are part of a pharmacy group's Web portal; 31% of the pharmacies plan to expand their Internet appearance in the future; 74% provide e-commerce services, with 81% of those pharmacies filling five or less orders per month; and 12% plan on expanding their e-commerce services in the future. Conclusions: The number of community pharmacies offering Internet services steadily increased over 32 months. Given the importance of the Internet as a tool for information, communication, and advertising for pharmacy products and services, it can be expected that the increase will continue. Pharmacy-group portals are important promoters of pharmacies on the Internet. For many community pharmacies, Internet portals that provide an Internet presence for the pharmacies and provide regularly-updated content (e.g., health news, tips, drug information) seem to be the most effective solutions. Even though 40% of the pharmacies already offer e-commerce services, these services are still of minor importance. For many pharmacists, the current legal regulations seem to be unclear. Most pharmacies want to maintain their Internet services.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4694
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.6.1.e9
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 6 (2004)

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