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Impatient patients turn to online ‘buyers club’ for new drugs

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) – Frustrated by delays in new medicines reaching their own country, a small but growing number of patients are turning to an online broker that bills itself as a legal version of the Dallas Buyers Club.

While regulators warn of the risk of buying drugs online, the Amsterdam-based Social Medwork sees its network of trusted suppliers as filling a gap in the market for the latest drugs against diseases such as cancer, migraine and multiple sclerosis.

Now it is looking to raise its profile and expand, by signing up former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes to its supervisory board and securing 1.5 million euros ($1.73 million) in new funding from the Social Impact Ventures capital fund.

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