Safety concerns over websites selling prescription drugs

England’s healthcare regulator is calling for a change in the law to protect patients using online doctor sites selling prescription-only drugs.
It comes after a BBC Panorama investigation exposed safety concerns relating to websites using doctors from companies based outside England.
The Care Quality Commission said these websites could be “dangerous”.
Currently, it can only inspect websites employing doctors contracted by companies in England.
Struck-off doctor
Former doctor Julian Eden set up the UK’s first online doctor service called E-Med nearly 20 years ago. In 2009 he was struck off after prescribing through the service to a 16-year-old boy and a woman who became addicted to prescription drugs.
Five years later, together with his now wife, he set up another company called EuroRX, a doctor hire company based in Romania.
Mr Eden can no longer prescribe drugs, but the doctors contracted by his Romanian company can.
Panorama put the quality of the service provided by his doctors to the test with the help of some volunteers. The programme asked them to see if they could buy drugs their own GPs would be highly unlikely to prescribe to them.
Eleanor, who was treated for anorexia when she was a teenager and is completely well now, was able to order three months’ worth of prescription slimming pills from one online doctor site.
She filled in a questionnaire giving a false medical history and was asked to pay for the drugs via another Romanian company before her answers were reviewed by a doctor.
The drugs were prescribed by a Romanian doctor hired through EuroRX and delivered within days.
Eleanor said: “I’ve got so many diet pills here and if I’d still been in the depths of my illness it would have been so dangerous for me.”

Source: BBC

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