Walgreens.com, the nation?smost heavily trafficked Internetpharmacy Web site, wasalso ranked at the head of thepack by independent consumer researchers who evaluated a numberof online pharmacies for accuracy and reliability.
The study was conducted by researchers at HealthRatings.org, ajoint project of Consumer Reports and the Health ImprovementInstitute. In placing Walgreens.com at the top of the heap, the organizationcited the site?s ease of use and quality of information. Otherlarge chain Web sites earned ?very good? to ?fair? rankings.
Furthermore, chain Web sites were rated ?excellent? with respectto their privacy policies but scored ?poor? in connection with theirdisclosure of advertising and sponsorship policies. The researchersalso were critical of the policies in place at these Web sites for correctingwrong, misleading, or outdated information.
?Consumers should think of online drugstores the same way theythink of drugstores you walk into,? said Beau Brendler, director ofConsumer Reports WebWatch. ?You shouldn?t be getting all yourhealth information in the store, where product placement, advertising,and other persuasions are at work. You might talk to the pharmacist,you?ve probably done some research, and you?ve probably hada conversation with your doctor.?