The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned the public of the potential dangers of purchasing medicines online after taking action against a number of websites.
The regulator has published inspection reports on four providers against which it has taken action due to irresponsible practices, which put patients at risk of harm by failing to implement the proper safety checks.
“The Care Quality Commission has taken further action against a number of websites selling prescription medicines to protect patients from potential harm.“
One site was found to be issuing prescriptions after taking as little as 17 seconds to review patient questionnaires, while another was prescribing large quantities of asthma inhalers that were not in line with recommendations.
A third was shown to be prescribing a high volume of opioid-based medicines with no system in place to confirm medical or prescribing histories, with the final website found to be lacking a robust system to verify the identity of patients.
The CQC has suspended the registration of one of the services, while the others have received restrictions and warnings to make the improvements required by law.
Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice at the CQC, said: "We expect the same standards of quality and safety to be met as we would see in more traditional GP settings - this is exactly what people deserve."
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