MHRA to highlight internet medicine purchase dangers

Dangers of buying medicines online are to be highlighted by the MHRA.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

The agency is set to launch an internet awareness campaign outlining the risks of obtaining medicines from unregulated websites.

The agency is also looking at identifying, by March next year, what legislative changes may be needed to tackle the problem of counterfeit medicines.

Eearlier this month, GP newspaper revealed that one in four GPs had treated patients for adverse reactions to medicines bought online.

The MHRA has also revealed that it is to develop a dedicated section of its website for GPs and to work with profession bodies and royal colleges, including the RCGP, on education and training programmes.

The agency sets out its plans in the business and corporate plans it published last week.

It said it wants to ensure that education and training programmes contain suitable content on safety issues in the prescribing and use of medicines.

The agency is also set to continue to expand its primary care research. Expansion will focus on the ExEtrac service, details of which were exclusively revealed by GP newspaper earlier this year.

The service allows patient records to be downloaded from surgeries to evaluate the safety of new drugs being launched in primary care.

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