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Patients issued counterfeit guidance

A joint campaign from the RPSGB and the MHRA will see pharmacy patients issued with guidance on counterfeit drugs when they collect prescriptions

A joint campaign from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will see pharmacy patients issued with guidance on counterfeit drugs when they collect prescriptions.

Patients will receive a double-sided postcard-sized leaflet containing information about counterfeit medicines, what to do if they suspect they have received counterfeit medicines and information on the safest way to purchase medicines.

The guidance also points out that all legitimate pharmacies operating online in Britain carry the Internet Pharmacy logo, which was launched by the RPSGB in January 2008.

The RPSGB's head of practice, Heidi Wright, said: "It's important that people are aware that they should always get their medicine from a reputable source such as a pharmacist or a registered online pharmacy site which has the RPSGB's Internet Pharmacy Logo – and I hope these postcards will help to achieve that."

The MHRA, the government agency responsible for ensuring the safety of medicines and medical devices, is also looking at ways to target those who deliberately use the internet to buy counterfeit medicine.

"The MHRA will not hesitate to take action against those who undermine public health. There is considerable risk to the public from obtaining medicines through unregulated websites," said Mick Deats, group manager of enforcement at the MHRA.

25th March 2009

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