MHRA to highlight internet medicine purchase dangers
Dangers of buying medicines online are to be highlighted by the MHRA. The agency is set to launch an internet awareness campaign outlining the risks of obtaining medicines from unregulated websites. The agency is also looking at identifying, by March next year, what legislative changes may be needed to tackle the problem of counterfeit medicines.
Earlier this month, GP newspaper revealed that one in four GPs had treated patients for adverse reactions to medicines bought online. The MHRA has also revealed that it is to develop a dedicated section of its website for GPs and to work with profession bodies and royal colleges, including the RCGP, on education and training programmes. The agency sets out its plans in the business and corporate plans it published last week.
It said it wants to ensure that education and training programmes contain suitable content on safety issues in the prescribing and use of medicines. To read the full story Click Here (27 April 2009, Healthcare Republic).
GPs warn on internet drug sales
One in four GPs polled said they had treated patients for adverse reactions to medicines bought online. A further 8% suspected they had treated side-effects of internet-bought drugs, the snapshot survey of 420 doctors carried out by GP magazine found.
Pharmacist leaders urged the public to be aware of the risks of purchasing internet medicines and to only use bone fide sites which require a prescription. 85% of the GP respondents want online pharmacies to be more tightly regulated.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has estimated that two million Britons regularly buy drugs over the internet, a figure which is believed to be on the rise.
BONA FIDE PHARMACY SITES:
- Should carry the Internet Pharmacy Logo
- Should provide address and pharmacist registration details
- Should not offer prescription-only medicines without prescription
- Should ask questions