Why should you trust an online pharmacy and doctor?
Addressing health issues
Access to health care is related to a complex social frame, involving both the circumstances in which people live (access to health care, schools and education, and conditions of work, leisure, homes, communities, towns or cities) and their individual and cultural characteristics.
All these factors influence us and our experiences when looking for a a proper pharmaceutical service. Chances for good health and good health services are not equally distributed in our society and this is a cause for continuous improvement.
It is essential to have a reliable and clear picture of how health and opportunities for health are distributed and how people access it.1
Overview of healthcare in the UK
The UK healthcare system, National Health Service (NHS), came into existence during Second World War (in 1946) and became operational on the 5th July 1948. It was first proposed to the Parliament in a report published in 1942 (the Beveridge Report on Social Insurance and Allied Services) and pertained to Aneurin Bevan, a former miner who became a politician and then the Minister of Health. He founded the NHS under the principles of universality, free at the point of delivery, equity, and paid for by central funding.2
In each of the UK countries, the NHS has its own distinct structure and organisation, but overall, and not dissimilarly to other health systems, healthcare comprises of two broad sections:
- Healthcare management and policies,
- Medical/clinical care divided into primary (community care, Physicians, Dentists, Pharmacists etc.), secondary (hospital-based care accessed through GP referral) and tertiary care (specialist hospitals).
The UK’s health care system is one of the most efficient in the world, according to a study of seven industrialised countries. The a report that analysed five areas of performance -quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and healthy lives, The Netherlands ranked first overall, closely followed by the UK and Australia. UK performed well when it came to quality of care and access to care. The UK also ranked first in efficiency, which was measured by examining total national spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP, as well as the amount spent on healthcare administration and insurance.3
Addressing the health needs
When having a health problem, getting care when you need it is universally important.
Thus, saving time and effort is desired when interacting with the healthcare professional, but in the same time accessing good medical and pharmaceutical services.
It is known that most people when facing acute heath issues, prefer to address to a pharmacist, instead of a medical doctor. Also, it was concluded that having a detailed discussion with a pharmacist often take a lot of the general practitioner’s burden, and generate more patient satisfaction. 4
Can I have a consultation without going to the pharmacist/doctor?
Yes. Thanks to the advance of science and technology, internet pharmacies can help you deal with your health problem and you can access online pharmaceutical products and medical services.
In April 2015, the General Pharmaceutical Council released the Guidance for registered pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet.
The objective was to meet the needs of patients and people who use pharmacy services.
The correct term for an ‘internet pharmacy’ is, in fact, a ‘distance-selling’ pharmacy.
The term ‘distance-selling’ refers to the fact that there is no direct contact between patients and the pharmacy staff for the delivery of pharmaceutical services.
Patients are allowed to access the pharmacy but only for non-essential services.
All online pharmacies in Great Britain need to be registered in the same way as a regular pharmacy, with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and meet the standards for registered pharmacies.
With easy access, you can order your medicines. You can have a regular prescription check, you can order your prescription medicines or you can access a consultation from a physician and get a prescription and the required medicinal products..
Can I check that website I want to use to obtain my medicines?
Yes. Actually, it is advisable to do it.
There are thousand of sites that sell a wide range of nutritional products and pharmaceutical products.
If you are willing to obtain medicines from an online pharmacy you must check first if the website is legitimately registered by looking for the GPhC voluntary logo and the mandatory EU common logo.
You must click on each logo which should take you through to that particular pharmacy’s entry on the GPhC register and the MHRA register.5
Should I make any other checks?
For further assurance that medicines will be supplied by a pharmacy registered with the GPhC it is advisable that you:
- Locate the name and address of the pharmacy operating the website,
- Check the pharmacist and pharmacy are registered by searching our on-line register for pharmacists and pharmacies,
- Check if the prescribing doctor is also registered,
- Avoid websites which offer to supply prescription-only medicines without a prescription,
- Be aware that registered pharmacies are required to check that a medicine is suitable for a patient before selling it,
- Also you should be asked to provide information about your health before a purchase.
Online versus traditional pharmacy, same laws
The provisions of Section 10 Medicines Act 19686 say that medicines can only be prepared, assembled, labelled and supplied for individual patients against prescriptions at a registered pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist.
This same law applies whether you are accessing pharmacy services in a ‘traditional’ way, at a distance or on the internet.
Selling and supplying online medicines to patients are under the same laws.
This includes also that the medicines supplied have the marketing authorisation needed.7
Standards and principles of online registered pharmacies
The online pharmacies respect the same standards and the same principles as traditional pharmacies.
Online pharmacies have implemented continuous processes of quality control and services improvement.
The sale and supply of medicines happens from on online registered pharmacy and under the supervision of a pharmacist. 8
The five principles are:
Principle 1: The governance arrangements safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public.
In other words, accessing the services of an registered online pharmacy, guarantees safe outcomes for patients and people who use these services.
Principle 2: Staff are empowered and competent to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public.
Pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists make sure that all staff involved in providing pharmacy services at a distance – including on the internet – are familiar with the Guidance. All staff have a responsibility to provide medicines safely to patients and to only do work they are competent to do.
Principle 3: The environment and condition of the premises from which pharmacy services are provided, and any associated premises, safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public.
In other words, the website is secured and follows all information related to security management and the law on data protection. This is particularly important when patients give personal details. Trust Doctor, for example, has secure facilities for collecting, using and storing patient details and a secure link for processing card payments.
With regards to this principle, Trust Doctor covered all the information requested by the Competent Authority and facilitated the easy check by displaying prominently on our website:
- the GPhC pharmacy registration number,
- owner of the pharmacy, name and GPhC number
- the name and address of the registered pharmacy that supplies the medicines,
- the email address and phone number of the pharmacy,
- details of how our patients and users of pharmacy services can give feedback and raise concern.
Principle 4: The way in which pharmacy services, including the management of medicines and medical devices, are delivered safeguards the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public.
That means that you have the right to make decisions about care and medicines you are receiving, and the services you want to receive in the future. The pharmacist will provide you with complete information with regards to your need, so you can make an informed decision about your medicines and the pharmacy services you will use.
You will receive clear information related to your medicines and you will receive information on how you can contact your pharmacy staff if you have any problems or need more advice. This includes advice on when you should go back to the doctor or pharmacist.
Principle 5: The equipment and facilities used in the provision of pharmacy services safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public.9
With respect to this principle, Trust Doctor uses IT equipment that meets the latest security specifications. The security of data is protected.
Also all our facilities and equipment are specifically designed for the intended purpose, and are of high specification, accuracy and security.
Trust Doctor is a pharmacy you can trust.
Our online pharmacists and doctors are registered specialists. You will be consulted by educated, trained and experienced pharmacists and doctors.
Trust Doctor is looking to meet its patients’ needs and to provide safe treatment, care and services.
Medicines are prepared, assembled, verified, labelled and supplied to patients under carefully supervision of our pharmacist. The medicinal al products are supplied from a registered pharmacy.
All the information you provide during the medical consultation is strictly confidential.
Also, on online consultation can save time and energy.
We are able to provide you with any information about the medicines you buy online, and to guarantee that the medicinal products are authorized, and original.
You can obtain non-prescription medicines from Trust Doctor, as well as medicines that are not prescribed by the National Health Service.
We provide medications at a convenient price and every order is carefully checked when supplied to you.
We respect all the standards and principles for registered pharmacies.
We communicate with you easy and discreet.
We, at Trust Doctor provide our patients fast access to medicines and pharmaceutical care and high-quality services.
Not all risks can be dealt with in advance, but every day, we combine our efforts to make our services safe and effective more.
We are engaged in your data protection.
We have a secure link for processing card payments.
We have dedicated validated systems for receiving prescriptions and for secure delivery to our patients.
If your order is to be delivered at your home or workplace, we make sure there are clear lines of accountability and responsibility in these circumstances.
We, at Trust Doctor work with patient-centered professionalism within our pharmacy.
All our staff are properly trained and competent to provide you medicines and other professional pharmacy services safely.
We consider this is vital to the safety and wellbeing of our patients and the public.
- Grosios K et al- Overview of healthcare in the UK
- Chang et al- The UK Health Care system
- Section 10 Medicines Act 1968
- Regulation 28 of the Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- General Pharmaceutical Council- Standards for registered pharmacies
- General Pharmaceutical Council-Guidance for registered pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet