New research released today suggests that purchasing prescription medicines online without a prescription is on the increase, with 50% of pharmacists stating they have customers who admit to buying medicine in this way. This research coincides with the release of shocking statistics from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which reveal that in the past five years the agency has seized more than £34 million worth of medicine supplied illegally.
Neal Patel of the RPS said: “These are worrying statistics and it’s clear from our members that patients are still unaware of the potential risks associated with purchasing medicines online from unregulated or unverified websites. 73% of our members questioned suspect that this activity has become more common place in recent years and 85% believe it is a risk to people’s health and potentially their lives. Some of these illegal sites are very professional and look like legitimate online pharmacies, but supply dangerous fakes or unlicensed medicines that have serious health implications. Our advice is clear; always buy medicines in person or online from a genuine UK bricks and mortar based pharmacy.”
The research was conducted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Pfizer as part of the Real Danger partnership campaign with the MHRA, The Patients Association, The Men’s Health Forum (MHF) and HEART UK. The campaign aims to educate the public about the risks of buying prescription medicines online through unregulated channels without a prescription.
Hear Neal Patel speaking to LBC Radio: