Help the MHRA educate patients about buying medicines safely online

23 February 2017

More than half the medical products bought online are fake or unlicensed and in 2015, £15.8 million worth of fake medication seized over one month alone in Operation Pangea.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) launched the #FakeMeds campaign in August 2016 to tackle the growing issue of falsified, unlicensed and counterfeit medicines and medical devices bought online.

The campaign aims to educate people about the risks of taking fake medicines and about how to avoid purchasing fake medicines online.

We are supporting the campaign and would encourage all pharmacy professionals and pharmacy owners to also get involved.

The campaign is expected to run for at least three years and is initially targeting 18-30 year olds. The MHRA is finding innovative ways of engaging people, including working with Coronation Street on a storyline about the risks of slimming pills and holding a week of action in January on the risks of using sport supplement ingredient DMAA. 

Other medicines or healthcare products that will be featured during the campaign include:

  • Condoms
  • STI self-test kits
  • Erectile dysfunction medication
  • Smart drugs
  • Anti-depressants
  • Sleeping medication
  • Anti-psychotic/anxiety medication

What you can do

  • Look for opportunities to inform your patients about the risks of buying fake medicines or healthcare products. Encourage them to always check for the EU common logo when buying medicines online. Anyone in the UK selling medicines to the public via a website needs to display the logo on every page of their site offering medicines for sale. Patients can check that a website is registered or report anything suspicious at http://medicine-seller-register.mhra.gov.uk/
  • Report suspected falsified medicines or medical devices via  MHRA’s Yellow Card page, or contact the dedicated 24-hour hotline on 020 3080 6701 or  counterfeit@mhra.gsi.gov.uk
  • Follow #FakeMeds on social media and share the infographics and other resources from the campaign with your followers to help raise awareness 

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