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What goes into establishing a reputable pharmacy?

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online pharmacyWe’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. And if you’re one of the many people who follow this familiar mantra, it’s likely that you pay close attention to the fat, salt and “chemical nasties” in your food. But do you apply the same rules for the medication you ingest?

The recent horsemeat scandal put the Food Standards Agency and other associated regulatory bodies firmly under the spotlight – and rightly so. What is less well publicized, however, is the important role played by the bodies responsible for overseeing the safety and ethical behavior of the UK’s pharmacies.

There’s no denying that prescription drugs can have a hugely beneficial impact. Even those of us who are particularly conscientious about what we put into our bodies can pay little attention to where we source medication when we are feeling under the weather or in pain.


What should I be looking out for?

The leading regulatory body for the Pharmaceutical industry in the UK is the General Pharmaceutical Council. The GPhC is responsible for determining whether a pharmacy is licensed, or not. In order to practise in Great Britain, pharmacists must be registered with the GPhC and have met the Council’s detailed requirements including professional, fitness to practise and ethical standards.

Anyone who is not registered with the GPhC but practises as a pharmacist, or refers to themselves as such, is breaking the law and can be prosecuted.

The GPhC’s website enables people considering purchasing prescription drugs online to check out the credentials of a pharmacy and ensure they are a registered and regulated pharmacist.


Does the same count for online pharmacies?

Reputable online pharmacies, such as Express Pharmacy, are subject to the same rigorous checks as any other. In order to trade, an online pharmacy must conform to GPhC guidelines in order to give customers the same peace of mind when purchasing goods.

A GPhC registered pharmacy is easily spotted online as they will display the registered pharmacy logo on the homepage, complete with unique registration number.

A simple click on the logo on the Express Pharmacy website directs you to the GPhC directory, where full details – including registered business address and online trading name can be found. Importantly, these are the details of our very own bricks and mortar pharmacy where we see patients in person daily.

By running a physical pharmacy alongside our online pharmacy, our patients can be sure that there is always a pharmacist on hand to prescribe appropriate medication when they need it most – as required by law.

It is always strongly advisable that if you are looking to buy prescription medication on the internet, you choose a registered online pharmacy. The nature of the internet is such that some medicines are now readily available from online suppliers who have no professional qualifications or healthcare expertise which raises a number of concerns.

Before you purchase online, consider the following things:

- Are the prices much lower than you would expect from a pharmacy?

- Can you see a PGhC logo or signs of accreditation from a relevant regulatory body anywhere on the website?

- Is there any mention of qualified pharmacists?

- Are the brand names or active ingredients recognisable on the medications?

- Are there testimonials on the website?

For more information on Express Pharmacy, please visit the About Us section.

Image courtesy of Theihb