Medicines can be purchased online from anywhere in the world. In 2021, nearly 53 million items were dispensed from online pharmacies in England, up 300% since 2016. In this blog, Dr Georgia Richards outlines the need for caution when buying medicines online, highlighting that online purchase of medications was cited in 16 Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) reports between 2013 and 2019. She highlights coroners concerns concerns about:
- the ease of obtaining drugs via the Internet without any contact with the patient’s medical practitioner or access to the patient’s records.
- the inability to limit the volume or the frequency of ordering.
- issues with the regulation of supply, importation and delivery of controlled class A drugs via the international and UK postal system.
- lack of regulation of the dark web.