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MHF backs advert on online buying risks

The MHF is backing a cinema-ad campaign by drug company Pfizer designed to raise awareness of the dangers of buying prescription drugs online.

Real danger advert stillThe hard-hitting 15-certificate advert, which will run at around 600 cinemas from 16 January until 5 March, shows a man coughing up a dead rat after taking a pill bought from an illicit website. Why a rat? Because there is anecdotal evidence of rat poison amongst other unpleasant toxins being used in fake products.

The Forum's main concern is that online buying often means self-diagnosis which can leave serious conditions undiagnosed. MHF CEO Peter Baker says: 'Buying drugs online from unregulated sites can damage your health as well as your pockets because all too often, men take them without having the cause of their problems diagnosed by a doctor. This can mean that potentially life-threatening conditions like heart disease aren't being detected and properly treated.

'It is vital that men, who are worried about their health, visit a health professional rather than resort to self medicating, particularly through purchases made from unregulated sources.'

Malehealth online drugs logoAlthough the advert is made by Pfizer, it is important to stress that problems with online buying are not confined to erectile-dysfunction drugs like Viagra. The risk applies to any prescription-only drug that you might be tempted to buy online. The MHF's malehealth website provides all the background you need to understand the issues around online buying.

As well as the MHF, Pfizer's initiative is backed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Patients Association and H.E.A.R.T UK.

Page created on January 15th, 2009

Page updated on December 1st, 2009