The Independent Pharmacy

The Complete Guide To Ordering Prescription Medicine Online

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Using an online pharmacy in the UK is a quick, convenient and discreet way of getting your prescription drugs. There are plenty of benefits to ordering your medicine online:

  • An online pharmacy is accessible 24/7 and can deliver as soon as the next day
  • You can treat minor conditions without putting pressure on your local GP
  • Having medication shipped makes it much easier to live with mobility issues
  • You don’t need to wait in any queues, because you don’t need to wait at all

It’s also surprisingly simple to order prescription medicines online. Here’s the usual process:

  • Selecting a reputable online pharmacy
  • Choosing the treatment you require
  • Completing an online consultation
  • Arranging convenient delivery

If you’re feeling confused, or you’re unfamiliar with online pharmacies, don’t worry! We’re here to walk you through the process step-by-step and answer any questions you may have along the way.

How To Order Prescription Medicine Online

Maybe you’re ready to order your prescription drugs online, and you understand the basic process, but you need a detailed step-by-step guide. Here’s what you need to do:

1: Choose a reputable online pharmacy

When selecting an online pharmacy, you must choose a reputable business with all the relevant qualifications and certifications. Only pharmacies that comply with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) are worthy of consideration when ordering medication online, as safety is incredibly important. The GPhC inspect all pharmacies in the UK to ensure they meet the high standards of care that the public expect.

You should be able to find the pharmacy's GPhC registration easily on their website - they have a unique registration number you can look up on the GPhC website. You can check our GPhC registration here.

An online pharmacy that offers any prescription-only treatments, will likely need to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC inspect any services that offer health and social care in England, such as GP surgeries and hospitals. The CQC rates the care an online pharmacy offers (much like OFSTED rates schools). This gives the patient's a good idea of the standard of care they can expect to receive when using an online pharmacy.

It’s also a good idea to check out a pharmacy’s online reviews and customer ratings (such as these reviews of The Independent Pharmacy). These can usually be found on its website and social media pages. If you can’t find any suitable links, that’s a serious red flag.

2: Select your required treatment

A worthwhile online pharmacy will make it easy to find the treatment you need. At The Independent Pharmacy, for instance, we sort our medicines by name and condition. If you know the product you’re looking for, you can navigate directly to it from our treatments page, or you can choose from our list of conditions and pick a suitable treatment that way.

Additionally, we provide a search bar for easy browsing. As well as highlighting relevant product and condition pages, it can point you towards guides and other advice pages that may be able to help you relieve your symptoms without taking medication.

If you search everywhere and can’t find anything helpful, please contact our team to let us know. We’ll be happy to help you directly.

3: Complete a medical questionnaire

Before you can purchase your medicine, you’ll need to complete an online questionnaire. This will involve describing your symptoms and noting any relevant factors (if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, for instance, it can change how the medicine affects you).

It’s vitally important that you provide honest and accurate information during your consultation. Our healthcare professionals will use the information you provide to determine whether your selected medication is appropriate for your condition. Note that we handle data very carefully, ensuring that it’s kept private and confidential.

If you’ve found the right treatment, we’ll approve the prescription, allowing you to complete your order. (If we’ve identified an issue, however, we’ll contact you to discuss it and help you find the best way to treat your condition: if we can’t find a viable alternative treatment, we may recommend that you see your GP.)

4: Arrange delivery and track your order

When you wrap up your order, you can choose your preferred delivery method:

  • For guaranteed next-day delivery, select Special Delivery
  • For standard next-day delivery, select Express Tracked Delivery
  • For two-to-three-day delivery, select Standard Tracked Delivery

All deliveries are easy to track online and arrive in discreet packaging. You can also provide detailed delivery notes (you may want your package to be left with a neighbour, for instance).

Ordering Medicine Online — Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the medication I’m looking for?

Using the search bar at the top of our website, type in the medication you need or the condition you’re looking to treat. You can also use the top navigation bar to 'Shop by Condition', bringing up a full A-Z list of the medicines we can supply online and the medical conditions they can treat.

If you still need help, simply contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Can I order my repeat prescriptions online?

Yes, you can. To arrange to repeat NHS prescriptions through The Independent Pharmacy, simply complete our registration form to create a subscription to our NHS prescription service. We’ll organise your repeat prescriptions with your GP and deliver them for free.

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

Is your packaging discreet?

Yes. Every package is discreet and unmarked, making it suitable for delivery wherever you require (your home, your work address, your neighbour’s house, etc.). You should receive an estimated delivery window from the courier on the day of delivery.

Where do you deliver to?

We currently deliver to all UK postcodes. Some postcodes in rural areas may have slightly longer delivery times. Please see our Delivery & Shipping Information page for more details.

Can I cancel an order?

Yes, you can cancel an order any time before you’ve received an email confirming its dispatch. You can do this by calling us on 0333 2200 519 or emailing us via [email protected]. If your order is dispatched before you’re able to cancel, please contact us: we’ll do our best to help.

Have any more questions regarding ordering prescription medication online? Visit our comprehensive FAQ page, or contact our team directly.

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A customer at the pharmacist looking for medication