An increasing number of people buy their prescription medication on the Internet (with or without a prescription). Often this is because it can be cheaper but also at times because the person believes either they can get the medicine they want without a prescription or that it may be easier to convince someone online to give them what they want.
The big problem with online pharmacies is that many are unregistered and that means unregulated, so buying from them is potentially unsafe. The drugs they provide may be unsuitable for the patient or unsafe or be badly or unhygienically produced – you don’t know what you will get.
Medication should only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional as their guidance and knowledge of your state of health is crucial in ensuring you get the safest medications.
For prescription-only medicines, an online pharmacy must receive a legally valid prescription before dispensing the medication. This means you’ll either need a paper prescription or an electronic prescription via the Electronic Prescription Service from your GP.
Some sites do offer prescriber services, where provide a consultation with a medical practitioner who can write prescriptions.
It can be difficult to distinguish between registered online pharmacies and other commercial websites. The General Pharmaceutical Council operates an internet pharmacy logo scheme to identify legitimate online pharmacies and you should only buy from registered pharmacies. However, some illegal online pharmacies fake the logo so you have to check carefully.
Check if a website can legally sell medicines online
Search the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) register to check if a website is allowed to sell medicines.
You can search the register by the business:
If you have any experiences with online pharmacies do me know, by email.