Increasing Number of Americans Ordering Pharmaceuticals Online; CPPI Research Supports New Survey Findings

35% of Americans Have Used Online Pharmacies to Purchase Medications Says a New Survey Conducted By Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) today provided research supporting key findings of a national survey conducted by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) about American purchases of medications online.

“Analysis from CPPI confirms Americans’ increasing demand for affordable prescription medications from online pharmacies,” said Jack Pfeiffer, Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation, Executive Director. “The benefits of online pharmacies make common sense and increasingly appeal to Americans at a time when the Coronavirus and sky-high drug prices make them essential. While we can also attest to the need for patient vigilance against rogue websites, CPPI research shows a majority of patients are alert to scammers and seek out certified online pharmacies when prescription shopping on the internet.”

Key ASOP Survey Findings
1. More than one-third of Americans (35%) have now used an online pharmacy to purchase medication, up from 23% in 2013. 
2. In 2020, 16% of Americans report increasing their use of online pharmacies. 
3. Of those who have bought prescription medication online, 31% did so for the first time in 2020 because of the pandemic and 72% indicate that they plan to do so again in the future, according to the ASOP Global news release.

The increase in the number of Americans who have used an online pharmacy to over 110 million is remarkable, though not particularly surprising. CPPI research found a 10% increase of Google search trends for online pharmacies and prescription drugs from October 2015 through October 2020.

The Coronavirus pandemic has made purchasing drugs from online pharmacies essential for people at higher risk to the virus. In a CPPI online short survey taken between April and May 2020, 58% of respondents said that their access to prescription medication has been impacted by COVID-19, while 79% had concerns about getting their prescription medication safely and affordably due to the impacts of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) both report that seniors and people with underlying/chronic conditions are at greater risk of the coronavirus. Seniors and people with chronic conditions account for significantly higher prescription drug use and bear significantly higher costs for their drugs, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

Online pharmacies offer a socially distanced way to access prescriptions, while certified online international pharmacies offer safety and affordability missing from brick-and-mortar American bigbox pharmacies. The online pharmacies recommended by CPPI like those certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association report a 100% perfect safety record, serving millions of American customers since 2002 and selling pharmaceuticals at up to 90% less than in the same medications in the U.S. CPPI annual survey results show that Americans are increasingly referred to certified online international pharmacies by a healthcare provider or pharmacist, a testament to the safety and affordability they offer. 

ASOP purports that consumers aren’t as knowledgeable regarding online rogue actors; however, CPPI research contends that American online prescription drug shoppers are savvy and alert against scammers. In the 2018 and 2019 CPPI Annual Surveys, the majority of respondents (78% and 77% respectively) knew how to identify “rogue” pharmacies and were savvy in their search to find an online pharmacy that they can trust. Furthermore, nearly half of respondents (43%) selected an online pharmacy because it was a verified/certified site. ASOP’s own survey results confirm that Americans who are most likely to buy medicine online are “well-educated.” 

“While CPPI research shows online pharmacy shoppers to be savvy against scammers, we strongly encourage patients to remain vigilant and to only shop at certified online pharmacies,” said Jack Pfeiffer. As a patient advocacy organization CPPI works to educate patients with regular updates about potential rogue actors, and maintains guidance for patients on how to find safe certified pharmacies.