Q and A

Question

Can I check PrEP from the Internet is genuine?

How can I check whether PrEP I buy online are genuine drugs. I want to do this until the NHS decide to make it available.

Answer

Hi

Thanks for your question – a lot of people are now asking about PrEP.

The only NHS clinic that I know currently advertises PrEP support is 56 Dean Street.

Based on the information on their website, the PrEP services include:

  • Providing a new PrEP service to private patients.
  • Private prescriptions for PrEP (tenofovir/FTC).
  • Related tests and advice for how to use PrEP.
  • Drug level testing. This must be separate to whether or not you use the private prescription service. This is for people who are able to get PrEP in other ways – for example buying generic versions online. This is a blood test to see whether detectable levels of the active drugs are in your blood. (It is not testing the pills directly).

This is a private clinic so there are costs for attending. There are currently no details about the costs on the clinic website.

The drug level test might be much cheaper and affordable if this is a separate option. If several people are all using the same internet source, it is likely that only one person would need to be tested to check the meds are genuine.

So long as you have a prescription from a doctor, it should be legal to bring any prescriptions medicines into the country yourself for personal use. The could be physically if you are travelling back from India for example, or by post if you are buying meds online. Personal use is defined as a three month supply – ie 90 x tenofovir/FTC pills.

For other questions and information about using PrEP unofficially, see this earlier question.

How do I safely use PreP if I buy it online?

Note: This question was updated on 10 July 2015 from an initial post from 11 June 2015, mainly to include new information about legality of importing generic medicines for personal use.

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