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Doctors who prescribe antibiotics online face GMC investigation

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5423 (Published 06 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5423
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

The UK General Medical Council is investigating whether doctors who work for internet pharmacies are prescribing antibiotics appropriately, after a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation found that doctors were not obtaining an adequate history from patients before offering the drugs and were not following prescribing guidelines.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s undercover reporters posed as patients and contacted 17 UK online based pharmacies and were able to obtain antibiotics from some for conditions they clearly did not have or were provided with a drug that was not appropriate for the symptoms they said they had.

One online pharmacy offered a choice of antibiotics to a reporter who asked for treatment for a dental infection when …

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