Pharmacy regulator launches online safety scheme

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has launched a new online scheme to help people verify the authenticity of websites when buying prescription drugs online.

The move was prompted by the results of a new research released by the society last week which revealed that more than 2 million people in the UK buy prescription medicines over the internet without knowing if the online pharmacy or the medicines are legitimate.

Indeed the research found that almost a third of these medicines are counterfeit drugs and can therefore represent a significant risk to public safety.

In order to tackle this issue and help patients tell the difference between reliable websites and those susceptible of selling fake drugs, the society has implemented a new system in which a 'registered pharmacy' logo appears on bona fide websites.

The logo will also include a hyperlink to the society's own website where patients can verify the credentials of both the pharmacy and pharmacist.

'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,' said David Pruce, director of Practice and Quality Improvement at the RPSGB.


According to the RPSGB, this new scheme is the first of its kind as there is currently no official system in place for people to check the authenticity of the online pharmacy and the medicines for sale.

emilie.reymond@haymarket.com

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