Press Release

O´Malley warns of dangers of buying medicines online without GPs´ advice

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children Tim O´Malley TD is warning Irish consumers of the dangers of buying powerful psychiatric drugs such as Xanax over the Internet without first seeking medical advice.

Minister O´Malley says the huge rise in ´medical websites´ and ´online pharmacies´ could pose a threat to vulnerable people who may be tempted to self diagnose and end up taking completely inappropriate medication.

“These websites are very good at advertising themselves by sending junk mail. They promote a range of very powerful drugs to treat different mental health conditions from depression to schizophrenia, and all are available without a prescription – no questions asked.”

“It is very disturbing to think that people can simply log on and purchase these drugs with a credit card without ever having visited their GP or seeking medical advice. Many of these drugs are very addictive and can have serious long-term side effects. They should only be administered in certain circumstances, and their use closely monitored.”

Minister O´Malley is urging consumers to first seek medical advice from their GP before buying online. “The Internet is a wonderful educational tool, but consumers should not be fooled into thinking it equips them with the ability to self-diagnose. Nothing can replace one-on-one contact with your GP. Get medical advice first before purchasing any of these medicines online.”

Minister O´Malley is a pharmacist by profession and is responsible for Mental Health in his Ministerial Portfolio.