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But beware as there are websites with unreliable information. A search for a condition such as cancer can bring up thousands of results. So how can you determine which websites are the most trustworthy?
Using this website
This site is funded by the Department of Health. It is committed to providing objective and trustworthy information and guidance on all aspects of health and healthcare. We strive to ensure content is evidence-based, founded on the best scientific knowledge available.
The kind of standards we work to are what every internet user should seek from a health information service. The information should be:
As more people use the internet to understand their health issues, some also go online to buy prescription drugs. But many online pharmacies are unregistered so buying from them is potentially unsafe.
Drugs, such as the anti-impotence drug Viagra and the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, can be bought online, cheaply and without a GP’s prescription. This is risky as medications should only be taken under the supervision of a health professional. Their guidance on whether the drug is suitable for you, the dosage, possible side effects, and any harmful interactions with other medications, is crucial.
Drugs ordered over the internet from an unregistered website could also be out-of-date, diluted or fake. They could be dangerous to your health.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has a code of ethics for all online pharmacies, to help you ensure that a website is reputable. The code requires websites to display:
If a website does not display this information, don't use it. Only use an online pharmacy that requires your GP prescription. If in any doubt, go to your local pharmacist. It’s the safest way to get your prescription drugs.
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