The potential dual use of online pharmacies

Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):59-75 (2010)
The technological advances of the 20th century resulted in the creation of the Internet and its introduction into everyday life on a global scale. The Internet provides access to information and the sale and purchase of goods. Medications are also subject to trade. Their sale is conducted by online pharmacies and their global turnover amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars. Medications ordered over the Internet are sent by mail all over the world. Considering the events of recent years, we cannot exclude the risk of a terrorist attack through online pharmacies. Terrorists can establish such companies, legally or illegally, or acquire ones already existing. Parcels, which are highly trusted by the customers of online pharmacies, can, for example, be contaminated with dangerous materials. The sale of online medications in the international system is potentially dangerous and requires international regulation.
Keywords Dual use  Online pharmacies  Terrorism  Bioterrorism
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-008-9111-4
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