ONLINE DRUGSTORES OFFER CONSUMER CONVENIENCE

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Pharmaceutical products from Anacin to Zoloft are now available by making few clicks with a computer mouse. Internet sites Drugstore.com and Soma.com are offering prescription and non-prescription drugs online. Planetrx.com and MyBasics.com are expected to offer both soon.

The sites are targeting consumers with chronic care needs, not those with conditions needing immediate treatment. The sites also offer personal care and beauty products. In short, they're seeking to grab business from retail drug chains and a portion of the $150 billion-plus annual drug and personal care business.

"We're offering people a chance to bypass the inconvenience of going to the store once a week or even once every other week and taking that 30 minutes and giving it back to people," says a Drugstore.com spokeswoman.

But Jack Russo, industry analyst with A.G. Edwards, says he doesn't expect the sites to have much of an impact on the market. He cites a general unwillingness to wait for items and availablility of chronic care drugs via mail order as the

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