Brazil and the US Internet-Based Medicines

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Internet and Health in Brazil




Brazil and the United States share important commonalities and differences regarding Internet penetration, health literacy, and pharmaceutical coverage. In both countries, consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet in search of information and acquisition. Similarly, drug makers and distributors have used the Internet to advertise and market their products. Use and abuse of the Internet for prescription and over-the-counter drugs still differ due to government pharmaceutical policies that affect access and price, as well as the socioeconomic differences between the two societies. This chapter provides a review of the academic and gray literature about Brazil and US Internet-based medicine use, highlighting how the two cases compare and contrast in terms of access and appropriate use. Lastly, the chapter discusses the implications of these two countries’ realities in terms of market characteristics, government regulations, and growing pharmaceuticalization through the use of new digital media.