Impatient patients using online 'buyers club' for new drugs

Amsterdam-based the Social Medwork has supplied more than 3000 patients worldwide in the past 18 months

Australians are among a small but growing global group of patients who are turning to an online 'Dallas Buyers Club' to secure new medicines that are not yet available in their home countries.

Amsterdam-based the Social Medwork has a network of suppliers that it says fills a gap in the market for the latest drugs for cancer, migraine and MS.

It claims to be the only organisation focused on newly approved branded drugs that are often available in the US but not elsewhere.

It has been likened to the movie the Dallas Buyers Club, which followed the story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who set up a drug-buying network in the 1980s to smuggle drugs from Mexico into the US.

In the past 18 months, the Social Medwork, which is registered with the Dutch Ministry of Health as a medicines intermediary, has supplied