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How to identify a licensed online pharmacy

Photo Credit: Peshkova/iStock Photo

In the last five years, the number of online pharmacies in the UK has increased rapidly. Identifying a regulated pharmacy can be quite a herculean task for some patients. One of the best ways is to visit sites like where you can find reliable reviews and ratings of online pharmacies. But besides that you should read this article. In a short time, after reading this you will become a Pro in identifying the safe and regulated online pharmacies.

Government regulatory bodies

In fact, the only way to identify regulated and safe online pharmacies are through the various government regulatory agencies. Online pharmacies operating in the UK must register with these regulatory bodies. Some of the bodies you are expected to register with are Care Quality Commission, Green pharmaceutical council, and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

The ease of purchasing prescription drugs online has made it easy for unsafe online pharmacies to operate.

Below are the bodies that regulate activities of online pharmacies in the UK;

  1. Care Quality Commission (CQC)

If you see the logo of this regulatory body on any online pharmacy website in the UK, then it means that you will buy genuine drugs. This body ensures high compliance to all regulations by online pharmacies in the UK.

Online pharmacies in the UK that exploit a loophole in the CQC legislation by employing EU-based doctors and pharmacists are not registered by this body. Not to mention, if you don’t find an online pharmacy on the CQC list, then that pharmacy can’t be trusted. It is most likely that the online pharmacy will not meet the required standard.

  1. Green pharmaceutical council (GPhC)

All online pharmacies approved by the GPhC are on their register. Also, online pharmacies that are approved by this body can insert the GPhC logo on their website. The logo is often at the bottom of the site. Any online pharmacy with this logo has the capacity to dispense prescription drugs to patients.

However, online pharmacies are not compelled to display the logo on their website. Nonetheless, the best way to know a GPhC registered pharmacy is to check the regulatory bodies register. If the online pharmacy is on their list then you can go ahead and patronize them.

  1. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

All online pharmacies registered by MHRA are required to display their logo on their website. Any pharmacy without their logo is not registered with MHRA. Furthermore, the logo is clickable. When you tap on the clickable icon, it will display more details showing that the site is registered by MHRA.

How unregulated online pharmacies cover their tracks

The unregulated online pharmacies have developed various schemes to avoid oversight from regulatory bodies. One of their most commonly used methods is to use EU-based doctors or use a pharmacist to prescribe the drugs. Unsuspecting patients will feel comfortable because the doctors are based in the EU without knowing that the site is not regulated.

Meanwhile, an online pharmacy that is regulated should have a licensed pharmacist and a doctor. These professionals compliment each other.


GP’s are trying their best to educate patients about how to use online pharmacies. Patients need to understand the current trend of purchasing drugs online. Although they are so many pros, it has a few cons. Nevertheless, to avoid the downside of patronizing online pharmacies, you need to take note of every point made here. That’s the online way to stay safe and purchase from regulated online pharmacies.