Friday, April 17, 2009

One in Four British Doctors has Treated Victims of Counterfeit Drugs

A story in the British News site, Daily Mail, portrays the danger of purchasing prescriptions online. An estimated 2 million Britons regularly buy medicines, including prescription drugs and those not available on the NHS, over the internet for a range of conditions.

In the GP Newspaper Poll, 25% of the doctors surveyed said they had treated patients for adverse reactions resulting from medicines purchased online. What’s more an additional 8% felt they would be treating such a case in the future.

General Practitioners are calling for stricter regulations to ensure the safety of their patients. Over 85% of them want stricter laws because as they state - a majority of the individuals behind the sites have no professional qualifications to administer medications.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP in west London and spokesman for the Royal College of GPs, said: "Surveys looking at many online medications suggest that the proportion of counterfeits is enormously high and that many of them contain very worrying ingredients."

The UK drug safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has also been running a campaign warning about fake medicines. A spokesman said: 'Anyone who self-medicates and buys their medicines from internet sites could be in danger of receiving counterfeit or substandard medicines. At best these will be a waste of money, at worst they can kill.

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