Probably in response to the surge in dodgy spam emails and offers to visit rather dubious online ‘pharmacies’ and buy cheap drugs, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is piloting the use of a new logo which is designed to help people see which are legitimate UK-based online pharmacies.
The RPS logo only applies to registered UK sites, and they’ll also maintain an official list, because it’s not difficult to copy a logo and use it fraudulently.
Of course what it won’t do is to provide any regulation for foreign sites, which most of the spam mails point at. There’s still a heady mix of legitimate and cowboy sites out there on the web, and policing them is a nightmare task.
Many people in the UK are apparently turning to these sites because drugs they want to get hold of aren’t available on the NHS, either due to cost or because they’re not cleared for use by NICE.
It’s an example of the way the Net is breaking down boundaries in all sorts of ways. Tech-savvy Brits are gaining at least a portion of medical knowledge, and then seeking to find the treatments they want online – often without the consent of their GP.
This new logo isn’t going to do much to stem the flow or provide any regulation for international transactions such as these.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society