Why do we choose the Internet instead of the doctor next door? The Internet as a site for medicines in grey zones.

Projekt: ForskningTvärvetenskaplig forskning

Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Etnologi
  • Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap

Beskrivning

Slimming pills, medicines that treat erectile dysfunction, antibiotics and opioids are some of the drugs that there is a great demand for in Sweden. People ask for them in the formal health sectors, but also in various Internet arenas, where the products can be supplied through informal channels where health-threatening medical products may be sold. The Internet commerce in medicines is increasing dramatically, in Sweden as worldwide. Why is this and how does such a trade take place on the web?

There is a need for cultural and sociotechnical studies in collaboration with other disciplines to identify what drives the spread of dangerous medicines on the Internet. The current project takes the unique and unexplored situation in Sweden as an empirical case. The overall question is what creates the demand for medicines in digital grey zones and how the search is performed.

We aim at advancing theory about what pushes the digital medical grey zones by combining sociocultural and sociotechnical analyses with medical expertise. Our team is based on a well-composed infrastructure with experience of multi-sited ethnography and online information practices in combination with medical expertise.

In addition to its scientific contributions, the project is designed to meet the global request for research on medicines circulating in grey zones. Our analyzes of consumption habits on the Internet can also provide tools to investigate other situations. A recent example is the COVID19 pandemic where people make desperate purchases of medicines and run the risk of ending up on illegal Internet sites. The results will provide a basis to model policies and awareness campaigns. We address the WHO, INTERPOL, the European Medicines Agency, and the Swedish Medical Products Agency.
StatusPågående
Gällande start-/slutdatum2021/07/012024/06/30

Participants