The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has expressed concern that substitutions of medicines as part of supermarket home delivery practices are putting customers at risk.

In a letter written to the British Retail Consortium, the RPS pointed out that some over-the-counter (OTC) medications included in online shopping deliveries such as paracetamol are being substituted with other medicines if they are out of stock.

These substitutions, the pharmacy body adds, may contain different or additional ingredients from those originally ordered which could cause a serious risk to health, especially amongst those patients who cannot tolerate or may be allergic to a specific ingredient.

RPS president Sandra Gidley, said: With demand for online shopping and home delivery services soaring as a result of the pandemic, it’s vital that robust safety procedures for the sale of over the counter medicines are in place.

“We are calling on all retailers to review their processes and staff training to ensure that only like-for-like substitutions of medicines can take place as part of home deliveries. Not taking action leaves patients facing a ticking time-bomb of a dangerous or potentially fatal adverse reaction to a substituted medication. Retailers must address this as a matter of urgency.”

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