This week I have been introduced to the Independent Pharmacy and I have no idea if I am late to the party with this one or, if like me, not everyone has heard of it, so I thought I’d share it with you as I was pretty impressed with the whole concept.
What is the Independent Pharmacy?
The Independent Pharmacy is an online resource where individuals over the age of 18 can access medical advice from trained professionals about a range of acute conditions. Whether you think you might have a summer fever or an infected toe nail you can seek medical advice quickly. You can complete a health assessment which will be reviewed confidentially by a medical practitioner who will then be able to offer advice and recommend commonly-used prescription medications that you can then purchase online.
My initial thoughts about the Independent Pharmacy
Now at first when I read you can purchase the medication on line, huge alarm bells starting going off for me as I have heard many a story about ordering “prescription drugs” online and not being 100% sure what has arrived, where in the world they have come from and how trust worthy they are.
So I did a little research of my own and what I found was that the Independent Pharmacy is
- UK based,
- regulated the Care Quality Commission – CQC,
- is registered as an approved medicine seller with MHRA
- and all the Doctors are registered with the General Medical Council -GMC,
This information was enough to put my mind at rest and trust the Independent Pharmacy.
When should you use the Independent Pharmacy?
The Independent Pharmacy is by no means a replacement for visiting your GP. If you have any serious health worries or concerns then you should still absolutely make an appointment to see your regular Doctor and get checked out. However, if you have mild concerns, a recurring issue, or just want to purchase some medication that you are familiar with and you know works for you then you should definitely give the Independent Pharmacy a try.
The service specialises in acute medical conditions including, but not limited to;
- Hair loss
- Sexual health issues
- Eye infections and many more
When shouldn’t you use the Independent Pharmacy?
Although the Independent Pharmacy cover many issues there are times when it is not appropriate to use them including
- in an emergency – always ring 999
- for an eye test – use the optician
- for ear wax removal – use a company like The Hearing Company
- for a suspected broken bone – go to A and E
Overall I think that the idea behind this service is great and in theory it should help to reduce the strain on the NHS as less people will require an appointment with their GP’s, freeing them up to see those in crisis. You do of course need access to the internet and therefore it is not accessible to everyone and some people will not feel comfortable using it but on the whole I can see the benefits and would definitely give it a go myself.
If you do need some advice and guidance on a medical issue, or if you would just like to purchase some medication from a trusted pharmacy that is regulated by the CQC then head over to the Independent Pharmacy now and have a look around.