From 1 July 2015, any UK-based online retailer that sells medicines to consumers in the UK or any EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country must be registered with the UK competent authority, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). They must also display the EU common logo for online retailers and pharmacies, together with a hyperlink to the retailer’s entry in the MHRA’s list of registered retailers, on every page of the website that offers to sell medicines to the public. These requirements also apply to companies selling medicines through a third-party market place website.

Only one company can be named on each registration, but multiple websites can be registered against that company’s registration. The MHRA’s timeline for processing registration applications is 90 working days.

In the UK, registered pharmacies can sell general sales list and pharmacy (“over-the-counter”) medicines or supply prescription-only medicines dispensed against a prescription online. All other retailers can only sell general sales list medicines online. In addition, the medicines being offered online must be licensed in the EU Member State where the consumer purchasing that medicine is based.

The aim of the new requirements is to help the public check whether the website they are visiting can legally sell medicines and reduce the risk of buying counterfeit products.

The EU common logo was introduced under the Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU. The European Commission has published technical guidance on using the EU common logo: http://ec.europa.eu/health/files/eu-logo/logosancointernet_charte_v2.pdf For further information on the UK requirements see: https://www.gov.uk/register-for-the-eu-common-logo