The UK government has approved internet-only pharmacies in England under changes to the laws governing pharmacies in general, as a result of an Office of Fair Trading report. Whilst some pharmacies already sell medicines online, they must have a physical store to trade legally – the changes to the law mean that internet-only chemists will soon be available for the first time.
The Department of Health is assuring the public that there will be strict rules enforced to ensure quality of service and safety.
Health Minister Rosie Winterton said “These reforms continue to support the Government’s aim to put the needs of patients first, ensuring that local health services reflect the changing lifestyles and needs of patients.”
Whilst it’s a great idea in principle, some internet users may mistake spam and some less reputable online services offering medicines as legitimate organisations. It will take public education and strict policing to ensure that members of the public do not put themselves at risk.