A campaign has been launched to warn people who are risking their health by purchasing counterfeit medicine online rather than obtaining regulated drugs on prescription.
The Get Real, Get A Prescription drive, a joint initiative by Pfizer, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, The Patients Association and HEART UK, comes after research revealed that millions of people are buying medicines in such a way.
The organisations are warning that drugs bought online may be dangerous and have no medical benefits.
According to the research as many as one in seven adults said they had avoided the healthcare system when obtaining supposed prescription-only medicine.
Most of the doctors quizzed on the subject said the practice was placing people’s health and maybe even their lives at risk as some of the medicines may be fake.
Counterfeit products can contain harmful ingredients such as rat poison, boric acid and lead paint and are often produced by people with no appropriate qualifications.
The research warned that they can cause harm to patients, which can sometimes lead to death.
Copyright Press Association 2009