New law on remote prescribing

MEMBERS are reminded that a new EU law came into effect on 1 July 2015 requiring doctors to prescribe only drugs that are licensed for use where the patient lives – for example, when they are prescribing drugs via online consultations.

More details are provided in an MHRA policy document – Selling human medicines online (distance selling) to the public. In regard to retail selling of medicine online it states: "The medicine being offered online must be authorised in the Member State where the member of public who buys the medicine is based i.e. in the destination country."

"In the UK a person may only offer a medicine for sale to a member of the public in the UK if it is authorised for use in the UK."

The new rule also states that all medicine offered online must now carry an EU Common logo which is designed to crackdown on the sale of falsified medicines. The new logo will link to the national regulatory authority’s website, where consumers can check if an on-line pharmacy is listed as an authorised retailer of a particular medicine.

Consult GMC guidance for further guidance on prescribing and managing medicines and devices online or via telephone or video-link. 

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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