UK Public Unaware Online Pharmacies Aren’t All Regulated To The Same Extent
Over half of the UK are unaware that not all UK online pharmacies are regulated to the same extent, according to research led by The Independent Pharmacy.
An online survey of 2,003 UK Adults aged 18+ was conducted by independent researchers, Atomik Research, on behalf of The Independent Pharmacy. The research fieldwork took place between 21-22 January 2019.
The survey sought to uncover the public’s knowledge of online pharmacies and the medicines they sell, following Panorama’s expose of the three types of online pharmacies – CQC-registered, non-CQC registered and illegitimate medicine sites.
Key findings include:
Buying medicine online
- Over a fifth (22%) of respondents would consider buying medicine online because it’s too difficult to get an appointment with their GP.
- 1 out of 10 respondents would consider buying medicine online because they are too embarrassed to discuss the issue with their GP.
- 14% of men admitted to feeling too embarrassed to discuss the issue with their GP, compared to 7% of women (as a reason to consider buying medicine online).
- Picked by over a third (34%) of respondents, embarrassment was the top motivator for people aged 25-34 to consider buying medicine online.
- An average of 62% of under-45s would consider buying medicine online, compared to 30% of over-45s.
UK online pharmacy regulations/prescriptions
- Over half (52%) of respondents were unaware that not all UK online pharmacies are regulated to the same extent.
- 91% think that online pharmacies that prescribe medicine should follow the same regulations as their GP.
- People aged 25-34 were most likely to say that they were aware that not all UK online pharmacies are regulated to the same extent (73%).
Legitimacy of online pharmacies
- 83% of respondents don’t know how to check if a medicine they purchased online is legitimate.
- Respondents aged 25-34 were most likely to be aware of how to check whether a site (54%) and the medicine on sale there (53%) is safe and legitimate.
- 66% of respondents living in the East Midlands said that they would not consider buying medicine online (compared to the national average of 58%).
- Respondents living in London were most likely to say that they’re aware that not all UK online pharmacies are regulated to the same extent (69%).
Raw survey results
Demographics Q1: What is your gender?
Demographics Q2: Which of the following categories best describes your age?
Demographics Q3: What region do you live in?
|Yorkshire and the Humber||163||8%|
Demographics Q4: From the list below - please select which city is closest to your residence
Survey Q1: Why would you consider buying medicine online?
|I'm too embarrassed to discuss the issue with my GP||209||10%|
|It's difficult to get an appointment with my GP||437||22%|
|I can't travel to my GP||81||4%|
|I wouldn't buy medicine online||1,155||58%|
Survey Q2: Are you aware that not all UK online pharmacies are regulated to the same extent?
Survey Q3: Do you think that UK online pharmacies that prescribe medicine should follow the same regulations as your GP?
Survey Q4: Do you know how to check whether a site selling medicine is safe and legitimate?
Survey Q5: Do you know how to check if a medicine you purchased online is legitimate?
Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides MRS code.
The independent Pharmacy is regulated to the highest possible standards to ensure it is a safe online pharmacy.
You can read more about how to buy medicine safely online here.