NHS patient caught selling his drugs in undercover film

Could get quite a lot of liothyronine for that...

NHS patient caught selling his drugs in undercover film

7 hours ago

A patient has been caught in an undercover BBC film illegally selling prescription drugs which cost the NHS £10,000 a year.

The man charged BBC reporter Jonathan Gibson £250 for a box of Enbrel, a specialist arthritis drug.

He said he was prescribed a box every four weeks and sold any that went unused.

In this instance he put it on eBay, where other prescription drugs were also being advertised.

A spokesperson for the online auction site said a number of listings had been removed, adding: "eBay sellers are prohibited from listing prescription drugs, in line with rules set by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency."


I might have hoped that ebay sellers would be prohibited from selling any medicines which were provided by US (you, me any anyone else who pays UK taxes) through the NHS.

8 Replies

  • I used to sell my asthma meds (which were basically speed + phenobarbitol) for pennies when I was at school. Nothing new under the sun. Possibly GPs should check that prescriptions are being cashed and that meds are still necessary. No one noticed for 30 years that I never got my steroid inhalers.

  • You were a kid. An adult doing so is inexcusable.

    There are posters on surgery walls and pharmacies telling people not to get medicines they don't need and there has been for at least 15 years.

  • How do you know you don't need them? And how about GPs who bully you into accepting a prescription for something you don't want by sayign they won't treat you or refer you otherwise. I think selling ADs and pain meds is endemic in this country. It probably shouldn't be, but I can see that someone on benefits and suffereing from the cuts might well want to sell some left-over pills to make ends meet. If GPs took a more wholistic view and stopped multiple prescriptions for every side-effect of the last prescription, and tried the Chatterjee approach, it might not happen nearly as much.

  • Your GP may prescribe you drugs at say a 4 week frequency but if you realise it is taking you 7 weeks to use them up, all you need to do is go and collect you repeat prescription 2 weeks later. My prescriptions state x/y and when x=y I have to have a GP review.

    In addition you can collect a prescription and as long as you aren't signed up with any of the pharmacy schemes then you can either not get it dispensed at all or get it dispensed at a different pharmacy each time. It is then difficult for the surgery to check you are getting them dispensed let alone taking the drugs.

    I actually refuse to sign up with the pharmacy schemes because if I have a prescription I want the ability to get my medicine dispensed when I visit a friend or relative, or work somewhere else in the country. This is allowed.

    Ideally if you are on loads of drugs you shouldn't do this so the pharmacist can do a drug review but with the tricks Boots have been accused of doing ( theguardian.com/news/2016/a... ) then you can conclude the pharmacies don't care either.

  • How about ehen you are spending hundreds of pounds having to buy your own medication because you are only prescribed levothyroxine to keep you ill. Plus customs on top of that when you are supposed to get medication free having paid years of.national onsurance. Also how are they going to know who is selling on ebay. They will have to put a blanket ban on all drugs and what happens to those who rely on those sellers for their NDT etc. It is not black and white.

  • There is a blanket ban on selling prescription only medicines on eBay.

    That it has been ineffectively observed and enforced is another matter.

  • Lillian15,

    Ebay's selling policy:

    Any substance or item that requires a prescription from, or the supervision of, a licensed practitioner (such as a doctor, dentist, optometrist, optician, pharmacist or veterinarian) to dispense isn’t allowed on eBay.

    Some medicines on the General Sales List (GSL), also known as over-the-counter - or OTC - products are allowed, as long as their listings neither mention nor compare them to prescription drugs. You are also required to display a common logo issued by a competent authority, such as the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) in the UK, in your listings when you offer for sale these GSL medicines. Worldwide including non-UK postage should not be offered on these items as it’s impossible to verify whether it is legal for sale in every country. Similarly, please understand that items authorised for sale in other countries aren’t necessarily authorised for sale in the United Kingdom.

    Make sure your listing follows our guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.


  • I am not saying I do or would but just giving a reason why it might happen in some cases

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