Warning as online sales of counterfeit medicines increase

Counterfeit medicine is posing an increasing risk to public health as the amount being sold online and through other sources grows internationally, according to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The RPSGB and MHRA have produced new patient guidance which will be distributed to all pharmacies in Great Britain over the next two months.

Pharmacies will be asked to distribute the guidance to patients in their prescription bags.

The double-sided postcard-sized leaflet offers practical advice to patients about what counterfeit medicine means, how to minimise purchasing fakes and what to do if they suspect they have been sold or supplied counterfeits.

Heidi Wright, the RPSGB’s head of practice, said: ‘Counterfeit medicine does not work and can make you seriously ill.

‘It is important that people are aware that they should always get their medicine from a reputable source such as a pharmacist or a registered online pharmacy site which has the RPSGB’s Internet Pharmacy Logo and I hope these postcards will help to achieve that.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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