New requirements for websites selling medicines in the UK
Patients and consumers buying medicines online now have a new way to check that the website they are using is legitimately registered in the UK.
From 1 July 2015 anyone in the UK selling medicines to the public via a website 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.
Anybody buying medicines online can check if the website is legitimately registered by clicking on the logo which will take them through to a list of approved sellers on the MHRA website.
We have been working closely with the MHRA ahead of the roll-out of the new mandatory logo and will continue to do so during its implementation phase.
You can find information about the EU common logo and how to make an application to the MHRA here.
So how does this logo differ from the GPhC’s?
The EU common logo is a legal requirement across Europe that applies to all retailers of medicines, including general sales list medicines like paracetamol. The GPhC internet pharmacy logo is a voluntary scheme that applies only to registered pharmacies in Great Britain. Registered pharmacies displaying the GPhC voluntary internet pharmacy logo must also display the EU common logo.
Following the introduction of this new mandatory logo, we are going to begin a review of the GPhC’s 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. We will also be considering how to ensure we avoid any unnecessary overlap or duplication with this new scheme.
Until we have completed the review owners of registered pharmacies offering to sell or supply medicines to patients and the public can continue to display the voluntary internet pharmacy logo on their website.
Patients and consumers who wish to obtain medicines from an online pharmacy should be advised to check for our logo and the new EU mandatory logo and to check our online register at www.pharmacyregulation.org/registers.