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Buying medicines safely online

Advice for patients and the public

We have worked with other health organisations to develop a new guide to help people keep safe when going online for medicines or treatment.

The guide includes six top tips to help people make sure any medicine or treatment they get is safe and right for them:

  1. Check if the online healthcare service and healthcare professionals working there are registered with UK regulators.
  2. Ask questions about how the service works
  3. Answer questions honestly about your health and medical history
  4. Find out your options for treatment and how to take any medicines you’re prescribed
  5. Expect to be asked for consent for information to be shared with other healthcare professionals involved in your care
  6. Check what after-care you will receive

Read the new guide [PDF 503 KB]

Read the new guide in Welsh [PDF 508 KB]

How to make sure you use an online pharmacy registered with the GPhC

Make sure you always check if an online health service and the health professionals that work there are registered with UK regulators, using the information on this webpage. This will help you make sure you receive safe and effective care and medicines that meet UK standards. 

Using online pharmacies

All pharmacies in Great Britain, including pharmacies providing services online, must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Online pharmacy owners have to meet our standards for registered pharmacies and follow our guidance on providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet. We inspect all registered pharmacies to check this is happening, and take action if they are not meeting our standards.

Read the updated guidance in Welsh

Pharmacy owners and pharmacy teams can follow this link to find out more about meeting this new guidance

How to make sure you use an online pharmacy registered with the GPhC

  • Check that the online pharmacy website says it is registered with the GPhC on its homepage or ‘About us’ page and gives its registration number. Then visit: www.pharmacyregulation.org/registers/pharmacy to check the pharmacy is on the pharmacy register.
  • You might also see this logo which should also click through to the pharmacy register on our website: 

  • You should also look out for the Distance Selling logo which any website selling medicines in Great Britain must display (even if they are not a registered pharmacy and only sell medicines you can buy off the shelf)

Raising Concerns

If you have concerns about a pharmacy or pharmacist registered in Great Britain, please complete our concerns form.