Argentina's first online pharmacy Farmaciaonline (ww.farmaciaonline.com), launched one week ago by university students Maximo Juda, Matias Bunge and Alejandro Bellucio, expects to bill US$5mn during its first year of operations. The site is based on the same concept as United States-based online pharmacy Drugstore (www.drugstore.com), which is already valued at US$2.3bn after 10 months of operations. Farmaciaonline, backed by a US$3mn investment, sells over-the-counter pharmaceutical products at 25% below retail price. Products supplier is Argentine pharmacy Borges, which boasts an inventory of some 23,000 products. Products are delivered within 24 hours in the metropolitan area or within four days outside of the Greater Buenos Aires area. Argentina's pharmaceutical industry generates some US$5bn per year and over-the-counter sales represent some US$600mn, expected to reach US$1bn in the near future. The country's pharmaceutical confederation has declared itself against online medication sales, as it fears online pharmacies could encourage sales of unauthorized products, confederation president Norberto Lopez said.
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