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[irishhealth.com] , Condon, Deborah Warning on buying meds online. (01 Jul 2013)

URL: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=22306

A major public awareness campaign aimed at highlighting the dangers of buying prescription medicines online needs to be launched, a TD has said.

According to Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, while it is widely known that it is illegal to buy prescription medicines online, the dangers associated with this practice ‘may be lost on many who feel that if they are continuing to take prescriptions that have initially been prescribed by their doctor, they are out of harm's way'.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor made her comments after receiving a reply to a parliamentary question (PQ) from the Department of Health. It revealed that when it comes to the oral contraceptive pill, a drug widely used by thousands of women in Ireland, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) has received six reports of patients who have died due to clotting-related complications.

"For one of those fatalities, the patient was reported to have purchased the contraceptive online and had other risk factors that could have contraindicated the use of any oral contraceptive," the PQ reply stated.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor emphasised that people must remain under the supervision of a doctor while taking prescription medicines.

"Taking meds for a long time might not always be the best option and the changes that occur in your body over time when taking a prescription medicine, simply have to be monitored regularly," she said.

The IMB works closely with the Gardai and the Revenue's Customs Service in an attempt to prevent the illegal importation of prescription medicines into this country, however, some drugs still make it in.

In relation to the oral contraceptive pill, last year alone, there were 63 seizures of Yasmin, 63 seizures of Yasminelle and 147 seizures of Yarina.

 

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