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People with addiction problems are able to order hundreds of powerful opioid painkillers by taking advantage of a lack of proper checks with registered online pharmacies, the Guardian can reveal.
A number of online pharmacies that are regulated and operating legally have no alert system in place to identify when someone makes multiple orders to the same address.
The safeguarding loophole means people can order hundreds of tablets a month.
The online pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), is calling for stricter measures to be introduced and says it is consulting on whether online pharmacies should stop supplying opiates unless further checks are carried out.
buy Oxycodone Oxycotin online David (not his real name) told the Guardian that his wife, who had an addiction, this year made four orders in a month for the strong opioid dihydrocodeine from the website Doctor-4-u after setting up multiple accounts. Hundreds of pills were delivered to the same address, but the unusual activity was not flagged on its system.
“Why do online pharmacies not have the capability to check various accounts linked to the same addresses?” he said. “This happens with insurance and many other industries.”
Doctor-4-u said it carried out thorough ID checks, but multiple orders to the same address were possible if someone used a different family member’s ID and credit card. It said this would not be flagged up on its system.
buy Oxycodone Oxycotin online After the Guardian raised the issue, the company said it would put safeguarding measures in place to protect against this problem, “to demonstrate our commitment to making our online pharmacy as safe as possible”.
John Elliott, the IT director at Doctor-4-u’s owner Med Connections, said: “We are constantly investing in our systems to detect this kind of fraudulent activity.”
The GPhC said it was not aware of a study that showed the numbers using online pharmacies, but it is likely to be in the thousands. Last year, Pharmacy2U, which claims it is the UK’s largest online pharmacy, said it dispensed more than 200,000 items to patients in a month.
buy Oxycodone Oxycotin online The Guardian has also discovered that Doctor-4-u and another leading online pharmacy, UK Meds, are being investigated by the GPhC, which regulates pharmacies operating online, although details of what concerns had been raised – even whether they related to multiple ordering – about them could not be revealed.
A UK Meds spokesperson said: “[We are] a regulated and responsibly run online healthcare portal, which is actively lobbying for the highest safety standards to be introduced across the industry. Patient care and safety is at the core of our business.”