'Its one thing buying a fake copied designer handbag, we've all done it! But its quite another purchasing dodgy medication online'
Over the past few weeks we have been getting challenged from the public that our prices are too expensive. We realised that patients, quite rightly, were shopping around and discovering that they could purchase the medication via online pharmacies.
We looked into this further, some were using our good name 'SkinnyJab' to promote their products and also advertising Saxenda pens for ridiculously low prices. They gladly illegally advertise the price (against the law on UK prescription medication) and will sell you 5 pens for around £280, a reasonable saving compared to us, but is it genuine??? At this price it cannot be a genuine UK product because this is below wholesale price. So red flags waving already.
Putting aside that it is illegal to purchase or to be sold a prescribed medicine without a face to face consultation. The fact that there is no advice how to use the medication, no specific dosage individual to the patient etc. If the price is a an absolute steal, then who wouldnt try to grab a bargain. But handbags are one thing, haggling with your health is a different matter altogether.
SkinnyJab is the biggest seller of Saxenda in the UK and even we cannot buy it in at wholesale for the online prices advertised. Then also to keep each patient safe for health screening and whilst on the drug, we have our overheads, staff & clinician costs, training advisers, support and aftercare service etc, the list goes on. So we have priced our product very reasonably with all this considered.
So, how can it be bought so much cheaper online? Well for a start off it may not be the authentic drug, rogue traders are already on to this. We have already had horror stories of our patients who thought they could do better online and have have been very disappointed and a complete waste of money, plus do not know what they have been injecting into themselves. They have consequently returned to us,. None of this should be allowed, but because all this has happened so fast the government cannot protect the public quick enough.
These online pharmacies are all based abroad, do not be fooled by the UK address, your products will not be coming from there. The stuff is imported and not UK accredited or regulated. If the products are actually real, they may have been stored in correctly so rendered useless. Who knows what is going on and is it really worth putting yourself at risk to save a few quid.
The official term is called 'parallel importing'. There is only one wholesale pharmaceutical company supplying the genuine UK pharmacies and the online products are not coming in via this route. So these products are not screened to the very strict UK standards, they may not have been stored properly and have not gone through all the astringent checks required by the UK authorities
We don't want to hear anymore awful stories and its only a matter of time before someone becomes really ill or even dies as a result. UK Laws regarding prescription medicines are there for a reason or we could buy it off the shelf in Tesco. Unfortunately with the rapid growth of technology, the law takes a little time to catch up, but it will.