Following a series of online pharmacy scandals reported recently, The Pharmacist has investigated the impact of illegally operating online pharmacies on the independent, community sector.

Along with weathering the funding cuts and striving to continuously enhance patient services, independents are increasingly having to compete with websites for prescriptions. Some of these sites are not up to the standard expected of a bricks-and-mortar pharmacy.

Contractor Al Patel, told The Pharmacist that 'there is a market for online pharmacies' but when websites do not follow the standards of treatment, they put patients at risk.

They 'degrade the standard' of pharmacy, he said. 'They are trying to profiteer from cheap medicines at the cost of patient safety.'

Watch The Pharmacist's full interview with Patel, below.

The CQC recently inspected two online pharmacies who were found to be operating below the standards set for UK pharmacy practice. Get the full story here.