Sunday 20 October 2019

Third of us using web to self-diagnose

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

OVER a third of Irish people use the internet to self-diagnose health problems instead of seeing their doctor or pharmacist.

And a new survey by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) has found that 60,000 adults have bought medicines over the internet, with diet pills, vitamins and nutritional supplements the most popular products.

The IMB said that while a very small number of consumers bought their medicines online – around 2pc of the population – there was a high level of concern about the authenticity and safety of such products.

Worried

A survey of 1,000 adults found over two-thirds are worried about the safety of medical goods bought over the internet.

And almost four out of 10 people admitted using the internet to self-diagnose health problems, rather than consulting their doctor.

"Our advice to consumers...is always to contact healthcare professionals with any concerns about health matters," said Pat O'Mahony, chief executive of the IMB.

"A healthcare practitioner, who will likely be familiar with the person's medical history, is best placed to advise on what treatment or medication an individual may need," he added.

Irish Independent

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