Launching its fake medicines campaign for the second year running the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned of the risks of buying counterfeit medicine from “dodgy” websites.
It has also warned patients that buying from online suppliers increases the risk of being “ripped off through credit card or identity fraud”.
The MHRA’s #FakeMeds campaign includes ten top tips for buying medicines and medical devices online safely.
Advice includes looking for the distance selling logo displayed by all online retailers of medicines operating legally in the EU, and checking with the MHRA’s approved sellers’ list.
Other recommendations include looking for the European Economic Area’s CE mark on medical devices; understanding that the term ‘natural’ does not mean safe; checking the small print; and not trying to self-diagnose.
The MHRA is urging patients and the public to report any concerns or doubts they have about medicines they have bought using its ‘yellow card’ scheme.
Initially launched in 2016, the #FakeMeds campaign is expected to run for at least three years and is initially targeting people aged 18–30 years.