Rise in the purchase of online non-prescribed medication

18 December 2012

Patients who feel embarrassed about certain conditions are putting their health at risk by not visiting their GP and instead going online to source medication.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) found that illegal sales of medicine are rising fast, as more people bypass getting legal prescriptions to avoid having to tell doctors about issues they feel uncomfortable with.

It is so bad that three-quarters of pharmacists are of the opinion that this is now a commonplace activity, one which could have serious ramifications.

"These are worrying statistics and it's clear from our members that patients are still unaware of the potential risks associated with purchasing medicines online from unregulated or unverified websites," commented Neal Patel of the RPS.

"Some of these illegal sites are very professional and look like legitimate online pharmacies, but supply dangerous fakes or unlicensed medicines that have serious health implications."

To combat this and better educate the public, several health organisations have banded together to launch a campaign called Real Danger, which highlights the risks of buying medication online without a proper prescription.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)