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International Drug Website Shut Down

International Drug Website Shut Down

A young Britain has committed suicide by overdosing on Tramadol bought online…

A BBC investigation into the sale of prescription medicines online has resulted in the closure of one international drug website.

The investigation came following the death of a young British man who took his life using drugs he had bought on the Internet.

Matthew Davidson, 26, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, when he was 19. Life had been difficult for young Matthew, who had been receiving help from a psychologist at his local health trust. But when the treatment stopped, his condition became worsened.

Davidson attempted suicide several time without success, and eventually turned to the Internet to buy Tramadol – a powerful pain-killer that can only be sold with a prescription in the UK and U.S.

tramadol 550x412 International Drug Website Shut Down

Website Shut Down For Selling Prescription Drugs

Image Credit: Magnus Manske, 2010.

Matthew’s father, Mike Davidson, found him after he overdosed.

“He was already in a coma, his pupils had dilated and he was breathing very deeply. I realized what had happened and just put my arms around him.”

The drug was sent from Egypt, where no prescription is required. Many other countries also have similar relaxed laws on pharmaceutical drugs, and with the Internet acting as an international market place, buyers all over the world can purchase such medicines – ones that can kill if not taken correctly – with nothing but a credit card.

While buying prescription drugs from the Internet is not illegal, buying them without a doctor’s signature within the UK is a crime.

The BBC investigation, backed by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the agency that regulates pharmaceutical drugs, has lead to closure of the website, which cannot be named for legal reasons. The alleged doctor involved with the sale has also been contacted, but as of yet, has not replied.

MHRA’s head of intelligence, Nimo Ahmed, explained there is a loophole in UK legislation that allows this practice to continue:

“We are now pursuing these websites and closing them down. We have also contacted the Egyptian authorities, and highlighted what this gentleman is doing is illegal in the UK…

“It is very difficult to police. While prescription-only medicine can only be obtained in the UK with a prescription, if you go on the internet you can access lots of controlled drugs quite easily…

“It needs to be stopped and we are doing our best to highlight to the public, the dangers involved. Some of these drugs are fake and could kill.”

The family hopes their son’s death will help highlight what they describe as a major failing in our legislation.

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  1. International drug website shut down after BBC probe. BBC, 06/28/2011.

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