Journal places nurses on frontline of fake drug education

Nurse taking notesA paper in the American Journal of Nursing has called on healthcare staff to educate patients about buying drugs online.

Nurses have direct access to patients shortly before they decide where to buy their medicines, making them well placed to raise awareness of fake online pharmacies. Taking a more active role in patient education would help the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop fakes.

The FDA has put pages online to help patients and healthcare providers spot fake pharmacies. In the AJN article, Diane Aschenbrenner, undergraduate pharmacology course coordinator at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, calls on nurses to use the materials.

"Nurses and other healthcare providers should have discussions with patients about where they intend to purchase their medications," Aschenbrenner wrote. Some patients, such as people on long-term medication, are more susceptible to cheap offers, so particular vigilance is needed.

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