E-medicine-prescribing medicines via the Internet-has been found to outperform the tradition system of visiting a doctor's clinic, in treating patients with erectile dysfunction (ED), in a recent study.
Researcher in Utah randomly selected 1,000 patient medical records from patients seeking ED treatment from Jan. 1, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2005.
While half of the patients used the online prescriber, and the rest consulted a physician for treatment.
Using statistical analyses, the researchers compared the safety of both approaches in treating patients who had ED.
The safety comparisons looked at a number of criteria, including prescription appropriateness, how often the prescribers used a diagnostic tool called the International Index of Erectile Questions (IIEQs) and the level of patient education provided by prescribers.
The researchers found that the e-medicine system "outperformed the traditional system in most of the safety variables tested".
One area the e-medicine system appeared to excel was patient education.
The researchers observed that 100 percent of the e-medicine clients received written manufacturer product information, and 75.2 percent of e-medicine clients received tailored electronic messages.
The study also showed that no medication instructions were recorded for 51.8 percent of patients who received prescriptions via a traditional physician consultation.
"Innovation, technology and current medical practice all factor into the outcome of this study. Application of an expert interview system specifically targeted to erectile dysfunction along with a continuous platform for patient client-physician communications make this particular Internet system comparable to traditional medical practice," write the authors.
They, however, insist that further research is needed to confirm the study's results.
They also suggested that state regulatory agencies "consider using the regulatory model of oversight protections implemented by the state of Utah to license Internet prescribing companies."