Websites selling prescription medicines have been reprimanded by inspectors for compromising patient safety.
The Care Quality Commission highlighted lax standards at four online services in its latest batch of inspections.
It included one case where a patient’s application was assessed in only 17 seconds by a GP.
Another service was criticised for prescribing a “high volume” of opioid-based medicines without properly checking patient histories.
Other issues identified by inspectors included insufficient checks on patients’ identity, poor recording of medical histories, inappropriate medicines being prescribed and lack of communication with the patient’s GP.
There were also examples of patients needing further assessment and not being referred to the appropriate service.
In particular, the CQC found:
- Doctor Matt Ltd was issuing prescriptions after taking as little as 17 seconds to review patient questionnaires. Its registration to operate has been suspended for six months
- Frosts Pharmacy Ltd was found to be prescribing large quantities of inhalers for asthma without checking if the patient’s condition was out of control or if a diagnosis had been confirmed
- White Pharmacy Ltd was prescribing a high volume of opioid-based painkillers with no system in place to confirm patients’ medical or prescribing histories. Its ability to prescribe these medicines has been restricted
- i-GP Ltd was issued requirement notices instructing it to make improvements in a number of areas, including around ensuring it has a robust system in place to verify the identity of its patients
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