With the advent of e-pharmacies, patients are receiving enough convenience to opt for online medicines consultancy, purchase drugs, and avail remote medical assistance. However, these digital stores need to ensure they facilitate the right person and clinically appropriate individuals to place an order. Accurate patient verification has become more crucial for drugs that are liable to overuse, misuse, and abuse.
Regulatory bodies are enforcing strict identity verification requirements that serve as the safety guard for e-pharmacies in combating prescription fraud. While fraudsters try to misuse drugs through illicit purchasing strategies, liveness detection and real-time selfie-based identification counter their attempts.
This blog outlines legal guidelines regarding ID verification for pharmacies and how online drug stores can stay compliant with them.
General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Guidelines for Patient Identity Verification
Online pharmacies are making it easier for individuals to limit hassle and order drugs while staying at home. However, with advanced upgrades come more significant risks. It is becoming challenging for drug e-stores to verify patient identity, securely prescribe medicines, and record accurate information. Online drug store access uses crucial details and identifies buyers which later helps in risk profiling as well. However, inefficient know your patient controls can hinder accurate ID verification while increasing health risks.
Under-age buyers are using different methods like misuse of their elders’ information to buy restricted drugs. Furthermore, using fake perceptions is another standard method to place orders without creating suspicion. Negligence in this case can push children toward life-threatening consequences. This makes patient age verification a crucial component for online pharmacies.
Obligations by GPhC
Under the guidelines put forth by GPhC, identifying individuals is a legal requirement for online drug stores. In its new publications, this council has set some new expectations for e-pharmacies. GPhC mandates drug stores’ staff to verify patient identity more accurately by ensuring they actually need the medicines and have clinical approval.
To streamline the process, e-pharmacies can use National Health Service (NHS)’s digital identity authentication standard for healthcare services. These patient verification guidelines came up in 2018 and later became a part of NHS login. The aim behind this was to facilitate deserving individuals in availing one secure option for accessing medicare services as well as their health records.
Use Cases of AI-Powered IDV Solutions in Ensuring Compliance
When patients enter the registration stage in e-pharmacy sites, the system asks for identity documents including ID cards, driving licences, passports, and proof of address. Later OCT tools extract information without any discrepancies. Machine learning algorithms then analyse details for accurate authentication. AI-powered ID verification for pharmacies automates patient onboarding while eliminating friction and fraud threats.
The automated patient verification solutions add an extra layer of authentication to the prescription validation and identification process. The system asks individuals to upload a real-time selfie and checks liveness to ensure the buyer is present at time of purchase. Furthermore, it also confirms the age of users through facial verification.
Online IDV solutions enable pharmacies to access global databases while identifying patients. This further ensures the accuracy and identification of individuals belonging to far-flung areas.
Prevalent Risks E-Pharmacies Face
Prescription fraud is a major fraud threat online drug stores face while providing remote medical assistance. Criminals use this for several reasons such as fraudsters applying for false insurance claims or minors using camouflaged information to buy restricted products. In the former case, fraudsters escape payments and patient identity verification. However, in the latter, under-aged individuals can drive lethal consequences like life-threatening additions.
“While global regulators are supporting innovative services for medical assistance, there are particular risks in dispensing drugs through e-stores,” says Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of GPhC.
Consultants as well as online stores need to integrate efficient patient verification solutions. This will help them deter prescription fraud while identifying individuals in real-time. Restricting access to minors, validating payment methods, and cross-checking insurance claims are other obligations in know your patient guidelines.
Prescription-Only Medicine (POM) Providers
As there are high risks of prescription fraud, pharmacies need to verify patient identity prior to confirming and dispatching their orders. Four specific POM categories need more strict safety measures to ensure they are clinically appropriate for individuals. These include:
- Drugs that require continuous clinical monitoring, such as warfarin.
- Second and third-generation antibiotics.
- Medicines that can be used for addiction or abuse, like opiates.
- Non-surgical products that medicare providers use for cosmetic treatments, such as Botox.
Online pharmacies require AI-powered patient verification solutions to ensure they are prescribing drugs to relevant individuals. Furthermore, medicines with a high risk of addiction and abuse are subject to ongoing monitoring. In case consultants fail to identify patients and prescribe these without proper authenticity, they can undergo non-compliance risks followed by hefty penalties. Hence, integrity AI-powered IDV solutions have become mandatory for e-pharmacies.