UK Pharmacy & Online Doctor Regulators
Online pharmacies are strictly regulated in the United Kingdom by several government agencies like the Care Quality Commission, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the General Medical Council that oversee the healthcare industry. UK companies operating online clinics are also regulated by UK/EU company and consumer protection laws.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
A regulatory body set up in 2009, the Care Quality Commission is an autonomous body operating in the field of social and health care of patients in England. It works towards ensuring the British government's standards of mental and physical respect, hygiene and adequate care of adult patients in hospitals and care centers.
It also regulates the modalities of quality staff and services at these hubs of social care and even at people's own homes. Any new social care initiatives in form of centres or services need to get themselves registered with CQC. The registration takes place after adequate training, checks and instructions for practicing.
Well qualified audit inspectors from CQC make unexpected visits at hospitals, voluntary organisations, private companies who issue such services, local authorities and social care centers and interact directly with the patients and residents about the quality of treatment they are meted out with. This is an initiative to ensure not just emotional and physical wellbeing of people but is about creating an overall mentally healthy and sound populace.
Health Care Commission, Commission of Social Care Inspection and Mental Health Act commission were the three organisations which regulated mental and physical social care related issues until 2009, when the CQC took over. With the help of government aids and some registration funds, the CQC is adding many watertight regulatory checks to ensure a leakage proof health and social care environment in Great Britain.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
An offshoot from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGP), GPhC was created to be the most powerful regulatory authority for pharmacy professionals in England, Scotland and Wales.
A central point of control of all pharmacists, pharmacies and industry technicians, the society not only establishes but also monitors the ethical and quality of education, training, practice and development standards for the industry. GPhC also conducts checks for fitness to practice for pharmacies and new registrants who seek entry into the community.
One of the key roles of GPhC is to maintain accessible physical and online records of pharmacists, pharmacies, pharmacy training centres, and pharmacist technicians for public and industry usage.
For its various roles, it is divided into three categories: the investigating committee which investigates all enquiries on unsfit registrants; the appeal committee which considers all appeals from applicants and registrants to save their cases and the fitness to practice committee which makes decisions in case of impaired fitness to practice due to various reasons.
It is a great measure to propagate and maintain standards and wipe out all illegal and malicious practices and ensure health safety of society. Pharmacies and chemists that dispense and despatch medicines are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
An executive agency of the Department of Health in UK, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, as the name suggests, regulates, quality checks and approves the effective safety of all the surgical equipments and medicines before they hit the market in the UK.
MHRA was formed when Medicines Control Agency and Medical Device Agency were merged to form a single body in 2003.MHRA supports to create researches on Medicines and Medical devices it regulates and arrives at a benefits and risk analysis of the products.
It also educates customers about those benefits and risks of the regulated products and propagates wider circulations of the medicines and devices which are proportionately more beneficial.
It also conducts a post sales check and regulation of the products in circulation through clinical trials, compliance programmes to ensure that the promised quality is maintained through and through. It also ensures that all medicine that is circulated or produced in the UK is rigorously tested, tried and is safe for consumption.
Apart from surgical devices and medical equipments, it regulates all critical medical care products. In 2005 it was also authorised to regulate blood banks and hospitals for safe collecting, testing, storage and distribution of human Blood Components.
MHRA enforces law in cases of infringement of the quality and safety of the products and also maintains a database of sanctioned devices, medicines and the reports of checks. It also adheres to an open system of information sharing for individuals providing ease of access to information.
The MHRA also regulates and enforces strict rules on advertising of products that fall under their remit.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPhS)
When Royal Pharmaceutical Society was split into two sections, the section that was responsible for regulation of pharmaceutical industry was General Pharmaceutical Society while the organisation which was delegated with the responsibility of providing mentorship and direction to the Pharmaceutical society was titled as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
The lineage of RPhS is rooted deep in the history of UK's medical evolution. RPhS museum maintains the heritage of traditional dispensing equipments, drug storage containers, medical caricatures and photo archives from the times gone by. They also maintain a press that publishes industry relevant material from time to time.
RPhS provides memberships, associate memberships, student memberships and pharmaceutical Scientists memberships to individuals or organisations who qualify for them by the standards of the RPhS. It also offers benefits of good will, discussions, advices etc. to all the practitioners. Though it is not mandatory that all pharmacists do take the registration, most of them do so because of the association.
The RPhS thus represent the niche hub for the best in the industry and ensures quality discussions, opinions, trainings and advices by industry authorised sources.
General Medical Council (GMC)
The GMC regulates doctors in the UK and ensures good medical practice
Online doctor services
Online clinics mentioned below are registered with the CQC, employ GMC doctors and post medicine from GPhC registered pharmacies.