In 2018 Panorama went undercover to reveal online doctor sites putting profit before patient care. In 2017 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a warning about the risks of buying drugs prescribed by doctors online. Despite this, Panorama revealed opiate-based painkillers and slimming tablets being sold to potentially vulnerable people and antibiotics being delivered across Europe in the face of warnings about resistance. Dr Kirkland met the families of patients who have died after online consultations and exposed the sites running rings around the regulators.
Dr Kirkland reported and investigated this for Panorama, and reported this for BBC Breakfast, the BBC News at One, BBC radio and it was widely covered in print media.
The programme was a finalist for feature of the year at the Medical Journalists’ Association in 2019 and the broadcast led to regulatory change by the General Pharmaceutical Council.