Web pharmacy gave 17-second prescription

Web pharmacy gave 17-second prescription

Websites selling prescription medicines have been reprimanded by inspectors for compromising patient safety.

The Care Quality Commission highlighted lax standards at four online pharmacies in its latest batch of inspections.

It included one case where a patient's application was assessed in only 17 seconds by a GP.

Another pharmacy was criticised for prescribing a "high volume" of opioid-based medicines without properly checking patient histories.

Other issues identified by inspectors included insufficient checks on patients' identity, poor recording of medical histories, inappropriate medicines being prescribed and lack of communication with the patient's GP.


There were also examples of patients needing further assessment and not being referred to the appropriate service.

In particular, the CQC found:

Prof Steve Field, who is in charge of the CQC's online pharmacy inspection regime, said online providers must not compromise safety.

"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," he added.

The CQC is in the process of inspecting all 46 online pharmacies which are registered in the UK.

It comes after a BBC investigation last year highlighted problems with the online pharmacy market.

The BBC approached the four pharmacies highlighted by the CQC for a comment. Only two made a statement.

Angus Wrixon, director of Doctor Matt, said patient safety had "always been our priority".

"Interactions may last only a few seconds, for example, when a known customer is requesting a repeat prescription - as is the case in many normal GP consultations," he added.

Stuart Gale, owner and chief pharmacist at Oxford Online Pharmacy, which is run by Frosts, said: "We have responded immediately, even suspending our asthma inhaler service for the time being so that we can ensure we are operating to the highest standards."

Last month the CQC published its finding on two pharmacies and warned patients to take care when using website-based prescribing.

The tips for things for the public to check before they click and buy are:



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