Buying strong medicine online is very easy
Anyone can buy prescription medication over the Internet without a doctor’s check. This is the conclusion of the Consumentenbond after investigation.
The union ordered twenty prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription from twelve providers in the Netherlands and abroad, such as antibiotics, sleeping pills, sedatives and cancer drugs. Sixteen medicines were delivered from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Switzerland, India and Singapore.
In the Netherlands it is not allowed to buy prescription medicines without a doctor’s prescription. Some of the web shops investigated are therefore clearly illegal, according to the Consumers’ Association and ask for payment in cash or with cryptocurrency. The Consumers’ Association calls on Minister Bruno Bruins (Medical Care) to warn more actively about the dangers of ordering heavy medicines by yourself.
Olof King, Consumer Association director advocacy: ‘It is worrying that these professional-looking websites can hardly be distinguished from legal internet pharmacies. They evade Dutch regulations through foreign doctors and pharmacies. For example, after completing a medical questionnaire, a mystery shopper received a course of antibiotics from a British pharmacy, on prescription from a doctor in Romania. ‘
Quality is not guaranteed when ordering prescription medication, says the union. ‘Pills can be damaged in the ordering process and then release the active ingredient too quickly. A treatment relationship with a doctor is also essential, because he or she can assess whether a particular medicine is suitable for a patient and whether it can be used safely in combination with other medicines, ‘says the Consumers’ Association.