Letters: Online pharmacies have an important role to play

While we welcome the debate initiated by GP into online pharmacies (GP, 17 April), we urge common sense on this issue.

Not all online pharmacies pose a threat to patients' health and many offer a responsible, well-regulated service using established clinical protocols for remote dispensing.

While we agree that patients need educating to ensure they only use online pharmacies which are registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and that they should only ever take medication as directed by a GP or pharmacist, many online pharmacies do offer a valuable service.

These services can help reduce the burden on overworked GP practices and traditional pharmacies.

To brand all online pharmacies as a danger to public health is to overlook the efforts being made by responsible pharmacy companies in developing internet supply as a channel to help consumers conveniently access the medication they need.

- Andy Murdock, pharmacy relations and governance director, Lloydspharmacy, Coventry.

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