We have all become familiar with the great convenience and ease of buying goods online but what about when it comes to medicines?
Buying medicines online, in the comfort of your own home, without having to take time off work or interrupt your busy schedule to visit your GP is a service we would all like to access. It becomes even more attractive if the nature of your treatment is for sensitive or intimate conditions.
How do you know if you are buying genuine medicines from a reputable registered seller?
It is illegal to buy any prescription only medicine unless a doctor has written a prescription specifically for you.
More importantly, if a website or indeed any supplier is willing to sell you a prescription only medicine without a prescription then these unscrupulous dealers do not have any concerns about the dire consequences of supplying you fake, potentially harmful medicines.
Fake medicines range from being useless to highly dangerous as they often contain the wrong amount of active ingredient or a completely different ingredient to the one advertised. Some fake medicines have even been found to contain highly toxic substances such as rat poison, lead paint, floor wax and printer ink. The medicines may be made in dirty factories with no quality control and so the person taking the counterfeit medicine may find they are putting their health, even their life, at risk. These fake medicines may look identical to the genuine article and are often packaged to a high standard, making it very difficult to tell the difference.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 1 per cent of medicines available in the developed world are likely to be counterfeit. This figure rises to 10 per cent globally, but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America counterfeit goods can form up to 30 per cent of the market.
This does not mean that all websites which sell medicines are doing so illegally or without a prescription but it’s very important to be sure that the website that YOU are using is selling genuine medicines from a UK regulated and registered pharmacy.
How can you check that the website you want to use to obtain medicines is a legitimate online pharmacy?
All websites selling prescription medication in England should be
registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who are a government appointed independent regulator of health and
All fully approved and regulated
websites should have a clickable link that will take you to the CQC register to
show that they are compliant.
All medicines must be supplied from a pharmacy that is registered with the
General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
If you are thinking of obtaining medicines from an online pharmacy, we would advise you to check if the website is legitimately registered by looking for the General Pharmaceutical Council, GPhC, voluntary logo and the mandatory EU common logo.
We would then recommend that you click on each logo which should take you through to that particular pharmacy’s entry on the GPhC register and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) register.
All websites operating in the UK,
but outside of England, must be registered with the CQC equivalent body in each
country: Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, and
Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (Northern Ireland).
The common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in the EU Member States was introduced by Directive 2011/62/EU (the Falsified Medicines Directive) as one of the measures to fight against falsified medicines.
Therefore, since 1st of July 2015, all online pharmacies or retailers legally operating in the EU have to display the following logo:-
How does the logo work?
The logo links to the website of the national competent authority listing all legally operating online pharmacies/retailers. National websites are listed with the European Medicines Agency. By simply clicking on the logo a purchaser of the medicines online will be sent to the entry of the pharmacy on that national list, thus completing the verification process.
The logo can be trusted only if a purchaser, after clicking, is redirected to the entry of that pharmacy on the list of legally operating on-line pharmacies and retailers registered in that Member State on the national authority web-page
Also, all pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services, must be registered with the GPhC and meet their standards for registered pharmacies.
The GPhC operates a voluntary internet pharmacy logo scheme to provide reassurance to patients and the public that they are purchasing medicines online from registered pharmacies who have to meet GPhC standards.
Therefore, anybody buying medicines from an online pharmacy can check if the pharmacy is legitimately registered by clicking on the logo or going directly to the GPhC website and searching their online register.
The EU common logo is a legal requirement across Europe that applies to all retailers of medicines whilst the GPhC voluntary logo is applicable only to UK registered pharmacies.
What other checks can be made?
You should be able to easily find the name and address of the pharmacy operating the website, as an online supplier who conceals its physical address is a warning sign that their products could be dangerous. The WHO estimates that 50 per cent of medicines available from such websites are counterfeit.
You should avoid websites which offer to supply prescription only medicines without a prescription as registered pharmacies are required to check that a medicine is suitable for a patient before selling it. Therefore, if you are not asked to provide information about your health before making a purchase then you would be wise to go elsewhere.
When you order any medication from our UK registered and regulated pharmacy you can be assured that you are doing so safely, legally and discreetly.
WebMed Pharmacy Ltd, a fully approved and Regulated UK Pharmacy (http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registers/pharmacy/registrationnumber/1126048), only supplies medicines from a MHRA accredited wholesaler. You can confidently order from us, knowing that you can complete an online medical questionnaire in the comfort of your own home and if suitable can be prescribed by our GMC regulated doctor.
WebMed Pharmacy specialises in treatments where patients may feel embarrassed or awkward talking to their GP or simply find it difficult to get an appointment or don’t want to take time off work. We provide a confidential, discreet next working day delivery, of your chosen medicine, within a 1 hour time slot to the vast majority of postcodes in the UK or New Click & Collect from a store near you, with a choice of 2,500+ stores nationwide.
Quick easy links to our most popular pages with the confidence of knowing we are a fully approved and regulated pharmacy, only supplying UK sourced medication:
Erectile dysfunction | Sildenafil | Tadalafil
Gonorrhoea treatment | Chlamydia treatment
Hair Loss treatment | Finasteride
STI Tests | HIV Test Kits
Medically reviewed by: Super intendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 17/03/16. Updated and reviewed 02/05/17.