New regulations around online sale of medicines
The government has introduced new rules around selling medicines online. As of 1 July, anyone in the UK who sells medicines via the internet to the public must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and feature on its list of registered online sellers.
Sellers must also display the new EU common logo on every web page offering medicines for sale; this icon will be registered to the seller and link to their entry in the MHRA’s list of approved sellers. Retailers selling medicines through third-party websites will need to have their registered EU common logo on every page of that site where their medicine is offered for sale.
This is separate to an existing logo scheme run by the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. While this scheme is voluntary and only applies to registered pharmacies in the UK, the EU common logo is a legal requirement in all member states. People buying medicines online will only be able to purchase medicines that are licensed in the country where they are based.
The MHRA’s Lynda Scammell commented on how this can help offer protection to the general public: “The new logo scheme should provide people buying medicines online with the reassurance that they are buying from a legitimate site.
“People will be able to click through to a list of registered sellers so they know the site is properly registered.
“Buying from an unregistered site could mean you do not know what medicines you are getting, and you could even be damaging your health.”