25% said they had treated patients for adverse reactions caused by medicines bought over the internet. A further 8% acknowledged they may have, but were unsure.
In addition, 85% of the 423 respondents said they thought that online pharmacies needed to be more tightly regulated.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP in west London and RCGP spokeswoman, 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.’
Dr Bill Beeby, prescribing lead for the BMA’s GPs committee (GPC), said he had concerns about online pharmacies being used for supply of medicines for conditions such as erectile dysfunction.
‘When it comes to buying drugs on the internet, it is a minefield. People just don’t know what they’d be getting. I wouldn’t advise any of my patients to go down that route.’
- Should online pharmacies be regulated more tightly?
- Read this week’s GP dated 17 April for the full story.