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Pharmaceutical shopping in UK is governed by administrative body which has set of rules and regulations to adhere to by very pharmacist. There is a law on the sale of medicine and other borderline medical products. Depending on these medicines and other health products can be purchased. The Medicines Act 1968 has set three legal categories of medicines.

Medicine list included in general sales

Pharmacy medicines

Medicines dispensed only with prescription

This act has made most medicines to be sold or also available on possessing a prescription at any pharmacy which is supervised by a pharmacist. However, some medicines belonging to the criteria of medicine list included in general sales are allowed to be sold in other premises such as the convenience stores. But they should be pre packed and the premises should be closed so that the general public is excluded. This act has banned and made it illegal to sell medicines in market areas in stalls, or in the car boot or any unauthorized places.

Medicine list included in general sales:
These medicines can be sold by any shop such as news agents, petrol filling stations, and also in convenience stores. But they are allowed to sell the medicines in small pack size as well as the strength of the medicine should be low. For example, the pharmacies sell paracetamol in a pack of 32 whereas shops without pharmacist can sell only a pack of 16 tablets. The highest strength of a pain killer Ibuprofen sold in pharmacies in 400 mg while in shops is only 200 mg.

Medicines available in the pharmacy:
There are a group of medicines only sold by the pharmacies that are supervised by a pharmacist. The pharmacist plays a major role in making or supervising the sale of medicines in this category. The pharmacist will enquire about your medical condition before dispensing the medicine. Some of the drugs will be sold to you only if the pharmacist is satisfied that you really need that particular drug and if it is safe for you to take. Or he will not sell it to you. He can refer you to see a general practitioner when he analyzes that your problem requires medical attention.

Prescription only medicines:
These groups of medicines require prescription to be dispensed. It should be from a general practitioner. However in some rare cases, the prescription can be from a nurse, optometrist, pharmacist, dentist, and from a health care professional. The pharmacies http://medicinedirect.co.uk/ dispense these drugs under strict supervision. There are some other medicines which can be potentially misused and require prescription.

Reclassification of drugs:
Few ofthe medicines are reclassified and put into different categories like:

Medicines dispensed only with prescription to pharmacy medicine.

Pharmacy medicine to medicine list included in general sales

This may be in use after few years when it is sure that these medicines are safe for people to use.

Medical products those are not really medical:
Those which do not fall into the category of medicines are classified as medical products those are not really medical. This group consists of food supplements, cosmetics and other herbal products. They are considered as doubtful medical products because they are prescribed only in very special circumstances. They have no set of rules like the medicines.

How the systems of buying medicines work?
Initially the patient comes to the pharmacy with a prescription from the general practitioner or any health care professional. Then the pharmacist has an active role to play. He has to ascertain whether the prescribed drug was required and if required it safe to take it. If not required the patient will have to be referred back to the general practitioner for an alternative prescription.

Then the next task would be to dispense the prescribed drug. The correct drug along with the prescribed dose needs to be dispensed. In UK no drugs from the prescription only medicine group will be dispensed without a prescription.

It is very systematic and well controlled in the UK in buying drugs from the pharmacy. This has given no scope for any form of drug abuse. The prescription only medicines are dispensed only after getting a prescription which helps in curbing abuse as well as misuse of drugs to a maximum extent.