The Council of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in the United Kingdom has published standards of good professional practice for those who wish to provide pharmaceutical services via the Internet. For some time the Council has been aware of the development of on-line pharmacy services and has been working to identify the specific issues such developments raise. The standards will be updated as required.
The standards deal with protection of the confidentiality and integrity of patient information and require that all information must be encrypted and comply with National Health Service security standards. Pharmacists providing on-line pharmacy services must advise patients to seek consultation whenever this is judged necessary. A questionnaire appropriate to the product must be completed and advice offered on all purchases. All information provided must comply with the marketing authorization, patient advertising leaflet and advertising regulations. A record should be kept of any recommendations made, and the pharmacy must retain records for two years of all purchasers and the medicines sold.
Standards for the provision of on-line pharmacy services. Available from: Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 1 Lambeth High Street, London SE1 7JN, United Kingdom