All pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services, must be registered with the GPhC and meet our 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.
Anybody buying medicines from an online pharmacy should check if the pharmacy is legitimately registered.
You can do this in one of two ways:
By clicking on the logo which should link to that particular pharmacy’s entry on our online register.
Or by going directly to our website and searching our online register.
From 1 July 2015 anyone in the UK selling medicines to the public via a website also needs to be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and to be on the MHRA’s list of UK registered online retail sellers.
They also need to display the new EU common logo on every page of their website offering medicines for sale, even if they are already displaying the GPhC voluntary logo. The registered EU common logo will also be linked to their entry in the MHRA’s list of registered online sellers.
This is a different scheme to the GPhC’s voluntary internet pharmacy logo. 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 registered pharmacies.
You can find information about the EU common logo on the MHRA website. If you need to make an application to the MHRA to use the logo, you can find more information here. You will need to use the MHRA portal to register to use the logo. Further guidance is available on the MHRA website.
Following the introduction of this new mandatory logo, we are beginning a review of the our voluntary internet pharmacy logo scheme. The review will consider any changes to our logo which would support patients and consumers to keep themselves safe when they are obtaining medicines over the internet from a registered pharmacy.
Until we have completed the review owners of registered pharmacies offering to sell or supply medicines to patients and the public can continue to apply to the GPhC for permission to display the voluntary internet pharmacy logo on their website.
Who can use the GPhC voluntary internet pharmacy logo?
Only registered pharmacies who are regulated by the GPhC and meet our standards can use the GPhC voluntary internet pharmacy logo.
What does the GPhC voluntary internet pharmacy logo look like?
The logo will carry the unique registration number for the registered pharmacy associated with the website on which the logo is displayed.
By clicking on the logo you will be taken to the GPhC register entry for that pharmacy and will be able to confirm that the pharmacy premises are registered.
How can I check that the website I want to use to obtain medicines is a legitimate online pharmacy?
We would advise anyone obtaining medicines from an online pharmacy to check if the website is legitimately registered by looking for the 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 MHRA register.
Should I make any other checks?
For further assurance that medicines will be supplied by a pharmacy registered with the GPhC we recommend that you:
- Locate the name and address of the pharmacy operating the website
- Check the pharmacist and pharmacy are registered by searching our on-line register for pharmacists and pharmacies
- Avoid websites which offer to supply prescription-only medicines without a prescription
- Be aware that registered pharmacies are required to check that a medicine is suitable for a patient before selling it; if you are not asked to provide information about your health before a purchase, you should consider buying your medicine elsewhere.
If you have concerns about a pharmacy or pharmacist registered in Great Britain, please complete our concerns form.
If you have concerns about a website that is supplying medicines and the website is not operated by a registered pharmacy premises in Great Britain, please contact Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 0203 080 6000.
If you would like further information please contact us.