Click, click, buy: The market for Novel Synthetic Peptide Hormones on mainstream e-commerce platforms in the UK

Luke Turnock*, Nick Gibbs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years there has been an increasing focus on the potential public health risks attached to human enhancement drugs (HEDs). While much work has explored the use and supply of HEDs, the market for these compounds is constantly evolving, with new substances being created and sold, and access becoming increasingly simplified through digital platforms. However, one area that has yet to receive scholarly attention is the availability of ‘grey market’ novel synthetic peptide hormones (SPH) through sellers on the mainstream e-commerce platforms Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. This commentary piece therefore sets out to uncover this burgeoning corner of the broader HEDs trade in the UK market. Findings indicate that SPH are readily accessible over these e-commerce sites, with sellers evading restrictions by claiming that the substances are ‘not for human consumption’ or ‘for research only’, while simultaneously advertising their products as wellbeing supplements. Labelling practices are further identified as a point of concern, since packaging is not necessarily reflective of product quality or true location of origin. Finally, discussion centres on the enhanced legitimacy offered by selling through mainstream sites like Amazon, the capacity for counterfeiting and misrepresentation, and the public health implications of this substantial grey market.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100251
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPerformance Enhancement and Health
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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