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East Midlands business powers up patient safety with tech investment

UK MEDS implements AI and facial biometrics to verify patient orders

UK MEDS, the pioneering online pharmacy, is partnering with the global identity verification provider Onfido to stringently verify patients’ orders for prescription only medicines - using AI-powered identity verification and facial biometric technology.

The Nottingham-based company has integrated Onfido, used predominantly in the financial services industry, to further strengthen UK Meds’ safety measures surrounding the purchasing of medicines online.

Onfido’s solution lets UK Meds verify people's identity using photo-based government issued identity documents and artificial intelligence. Onfido’s technology first checks patients’ ID is genuine, then cross references the ID against international compliance watchlists.

Verifying customer identities is important in preventing drug misuse, fraud and identity misrepresentation. As one of the first online pharmacies to implement Onfido, patients now ordering prescription-only medicines (POM) need to pass a stringent procedure before they can buy. If they don’t pass the verification process, their prescription request is declined.

Joe Soiza, managing director of UK Meds, said:

“Within the last three years we have significantly invested in new technology such as Onfido, which have strengthened the safety measures surrounding the purchasing of medicines online.”

UK Meds director and co-founder Mason Soiza, who oversees technology innovations at the company, said:

“We continually strive to put in place rigorous procedures and several layers of safety checks, operating in accordance with applicable legislation, which attempts to limit the potential for abuse of our service. Onfido's facial biometrics technology takes our safety checks one step further.”

Regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), UK Meds uses a number of highly qualified, UK-based independent prescribers to review prescription requests and, if approved, these are then dispensed from its Nottingham-based pharmacy. TV’s Dr Christian features on the UK Meds website and also contributes to the company’s blog posts.

Mason added:

“We are fully committed to offering people an alternative choice when sourcing lifestyle products and prescription-only medicines in the safest possible way.

“The online pharmacy industry has a reputation for being unsafe and has been tarnished by a number of unscrupulous operators. We take patient safety very seriously and have implemented additional protocols and procedures to reassure and protect our customers.

“As a business, we are committed to safeguarding the health of our patients and so we have invested heavily - and will continue to do so - in our safety checks, to ensure that patient care and welfare is always our paramount aim.”

As a highly-regulated online pharmacy service, UK Meds provides a wide range of healthcare and lifestyle products, as well as pharmacy (P) lines and prescription-only medicines (POM) to patients across the UK.

Joe explains:

“Before any prescription medicine is dispensed by UK Meds, the patient goes through a number of thorough clinical checks to ensure that the medicine they have requested is medically appropriate and dispensed in the correct quantity and strength for their condition.”

Customers complete a thorough, condition-specific online consultation questionnaire which asks similar questions, and looks for the same qualifying answers, as what would be required in a doctor’s surgery consultation. All consultations are confidential, and all data is protected.

“Completed consultation questionnaires are then reviewed by a licensed prescribing GPhC registered pharmacist.” added Joe.

If the prescribing clinician confirms that the requested treatment is appropriate and safe for the customer, a private prescription is issued and the request will continue. If, for any reason, the clinician needs to refuse a request, the transaction is cancelled and the customer is provided with a clear explanation as to why.

Husayn Kassai, Onfido CEO and Co-Founder said:

“Being able to verify who your customers are accurately and efficiently while giving them a good user experience is critical to preventing people obtaining medicines they shouldn’t. We’re excited to be partnering with UK Meds, to help them further make the customer journey both convenient and secure for their online prescription medication sales.”

UK Meds offers a confidential service which is registered and approved by the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency). UK Meds is registered as a pharmacy with the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council).

For more information about UK Meds, visit: www.ukmeds.co.uk


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