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Millions Risk Buying Drugs Online


Charles Flynn

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MILLIONS RISK

HEALTH BUYING DRUGS ONLINE

Millions of Brits could be playing Russian Roulette with their health buying prescription-only

medicines from rogue internet sites, according to research conducted by the Royal

Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB).

In response to this growing online danger, the RPSGB today rolls out the Internet Pharmacy

Logo, a visual tool to help the public identify if a website is being operated by a bona fide

pharmacy in Britain.

The research shows that over two million people across Britain now regularly purchase

medicines via the web. While a number of legitimate pharmacies provide online pharmacy

services, there are also a number of suppliers operating from websites offering to sell

medicines who have no professional qualifications or healthcare expertise. In many cases,

medicines purchased from such sites are counterfeit, substandard or unapproved new drugs,

which put public safety at risk.

The research also reveals that almost a third of people admit to not having a clue about online

regulations.

All pharmacies across Britain, including those offering internet services, must be registered

with the RPSGB. The new logo will be visible on the homepage of participating online

pharmacies and features the unique RPSGB membership number of the pharmacy operating

the site. A link from the logo to the RPSGB registration pages allows visitors to check the

legitimacy of a website and the pharmacists running the practice before making a purchase.

1 Lambeth High Street, London SE1 7JN

Tel: 020 7572 2335

Fax: 020 7572 2503

News release

RPSGB Director of Practice and Quality Improvement, David Pruce, says:

“The internet presents a real danger to people’s health. Dishonest traders are selling

medicines online without any relevant professional qualifications or healthcare expertise. The

products they sell can be poor quality at best and dangerous at worst. People who wish to buy

medicines over the net should do it at a legitimate registered online pharmacy. Pharmacists

are experts in medicines and can lawfully and safely supply them over the internet.

“The public must be vigilant and we recommend that they use the presence of this logo in

conjunction with a routine of checks when deciding whether or not it is safe to buy.

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