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Internet sales threaten drug companies' supremacy

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 27 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:998
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. Heidelberg

    A row is brewing over the announcement by a German health insurance company that patients should buy their drugs over the internet to cut costs—a move that threatens to undermine the monopoly of the German pharmaceutical industry.

    The Bavarian health insurance company Bayerische Betriebskrankenkassen recently set up a contract with the Dutch internet pharmacy shop DocMorris and has advised its 1.8 million members to order cheaper drugs via the internet. This would enable them to fill prescriptions at lower cost than at a pharmacy and would also allow them to buy non-prescription drugs more cheaply.

    The Bavarian company's website tells members: “You can use DocMorris. Refundable drugs will be refunded by us, just like …

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