How Do Online Pharmacies Work? Your Guide To Ordering Prescription Drugs Online

Using an online pharmacy in the UK is a quick, convenient, and discreet way of getting your prescriptions and medications. But how exactly do they work?

In this guide we look at how to select an online pharmacy, order your prescriptions, take advantage of online consultations, choose delivery options, and manage repeat prescriptions; so you can decide if going digital is right for you.

Selecting a reputable online pharmacy

When selecting an online pharmacy it is critical you choose a reputable one with the correct qualifications. Don’t just look at the website’s design and whether it’s easy to use — delve deeper into their credentials.

  1. Only pharmacies that comply with the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) should be considered when ordering your drugs and medicines online.
  2. To be sure you are dealing with a licensed company, look for the small green cross logo on their website. Only chemists registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) can display this logo. The logo will also have a unique registration number you can look up on the GPhC website if you are unsure.
  3. To be sure you get a high standard of service, check out the pharmacy’s online reviews and customer scores and ratings. These can be found on their website, but also on social media pages like Facebook and Google Plus.

Here's our full guide on how to stay safe when buying medicine online.

Searching and selecting your required treatment

At The Independent Pharmacy — and at most other online pharmacies — medicines are sorted by name and condition. If you already know the name of the drug you require, simply type it into the handy search bar; otherwise, you’ll want to find out more about your condition and the available treatments.

If you are unsure of what you need, you can easily navigate the website via the listed medical conditions. Simply type the ailment into the search bar and you will be directed to a condition page with some suggested treatments, or just simply select from the listed conditions. You should always read the advice on your chosen condition, and see if there is anything non-drug related you could do to relieve your symptoms.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can contact us on the phone on 0333 2200 519, send us an email, or message us via our online chat.

Completing a secure medical consultation

When ordering medicine online you will need to take part in a medical questionnaire. These questions may range from describing your symptoms, to disclosing whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is essential you provide accurate, honest information during your consultation. Using the information you provide, we can determine whether the drugs are appropriate for your condition, or whether you need to seek advice from your GP. Safe, responsible prescriptions are the only way to use an online pharmacist, so make sure you answer the questions carefully.

Once you have submitted it, your questionnaire will be reviewed by our healthcare professionals. If we are happy with your case, we’ll approve the prescription, and after payment, you will receive your drugs - normally within one working day. However, if we find further reason to contact you for clarifications, you will receive an email with details of what is needed next.

After the questionnaire, you will also have to provide some personal details. This will include personal data like your address (for delivery purposes), and maybe even your doctor’s details. All this data is handled securely.

Arranging delivery and tracking your order

One of the most convenient things about using an online pharmacy is the fact that the drugs are delivered to a nominated address safely and discreetly, saving you a trip to your local pharmacy.

After adding your billing details, you can select your delivery option. For guaranteed next day delivery select Special Delivery, for standard next day delivery select Express Tracked Delivery, and for a two to three-day delivery select, Standard Tracked Delivery.

All deliveries are easily tracked online, sent in discreet packaging, and you can provide detailed delivery notes.

Ordering repeat prescriptions

To arrange repeat NHS prescriptions simply complete our registration form and you will be subscribed to The Independent Pharmacy's NHS prescription service. We organise any repeat prescriptions with your GP and deliver them for free.

Note: there is no need to sign up for this service for non-NHS prescriptions — products such as Sildenafil, Sumatriptan or Orlistat can always be re-ordered at your leisure.

Whether you decide to choose The Independent Pharmacy as your pharmacist, go in store, or go with another online provider — be sure to value safety over anything else.

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