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article imageMajority of the public don’t know if their medicine is safe

By Tim Sandle     Mar 12, 2019 in Health
London - The Independent Pharmacy have revealed that although 28 million U.K. residents would shop online for medication, 94 percent of over 55’s don’t know how to check if their medicine is legitimate or not.
The new study is titled “UK Public Unaware Online Pharmacies Aren’t All Regulated To The Same Extent”, and it comes from the trade association for independent pharmacies operating in the U.K.
The study was commissioned in light of a growing trend among consumers for buying drug products online. Around one fifth of respondents of the survey said they would consider buying medicine online because it is too difficult to get an appointment with their medical doctor.
While the study is U.K. focused, many of the findings will be applicable worldwide as the ease of purchasing medicines online expands, as well as the practice becoming more commonplace as some people seek to skip visits to medics or long lines to wait at the pharmacy store.
As well as the high percentage of people aged 55 and over not knowing how to check medicines safely online, the research also revealed that 83 percent of the U.K. population overall do not know how to check whether a medicine bought online is legitimate. The same proportion – 83 percent – where found not to know how to check if a site selling medicine is safe and legitimate
In terms of the savvier consumers, 25-34-year-olds were found to be the most likely to be aware of how to check whether a site (at 54 percent) and the medicine it sells (53 percent) is safe and legitimate.
A legitimate online pharmacy will provide consultations with a medical practitioner or prescribing pharmacist, to issue or renew prescriptions (if suitable). The concern is with online pharmacies that are not legitimate, and which may either provide inappropriate advice or distribute falsified medicines (which can contain harmful ingredients, or which may not contain the required active substance) or where the supply chain is not sufficiently robust, leading to medicines being distributed which have been tampered with.
To protect consumers, medicines should carry a unique identifier (such as a 2D data matrix code together with readable information) fixed onto medical products so that can be scanned at fixed points along the supply chain. The medicines should also be contained within a tamper proof pack.
Buying from unauthorized websites also increases the risk of a consumer being ripped off through credit card fraud or with a consumer having their identity stolen.
More about Medicine, fake medicine, Drugs, falsified
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