Private prescriptions

Generic vs branded medicine

When a new drug is developed by a pharmaceutical company the ‘brand’ is protected by a patent for 20 years.

After 20 years the active ingredient can be legally copied. The copy containing the same active ingredient as the original is known as a generic medicine.

When doctors prescribe medicine they usually prescribe using the name of the active ingredient, not the brand name. The dispensing pharmacist will issue the lowest cost version of the medicine legally available. This is often the generic version of a medicine.

Pharmacy medicine vs prescription medicine

Some prescription medicine is available to buy through pharmacists without a prescription. Pharmacists are able to issue these medicines without a prescription because the medicines concerned are relatively safe and pharmacists can advise the patient/customer how to use the medicine safely at the time the medicine is sold.

When a doctor prescribes a medicine the doctor takes responsibility for ensuring the medicine prescribed is safe and suited to the patient. A doctor has the option to provide medicine in quantities requested by a patient, as long as this is clinically appropriate. A doctor is able to tailor a prescription to the patient in a way pharmacists normally cannot. And because a doctor can prescribe generic medicine there may be a cost reduction for the patient.

Online vs chemist shop

Whilst obtaining medicine from a chemist is safe and regulated we feel there are some advantages to patients in obtaining medication via a clinic website like ours. Pharmacists in the high street are trained and qualified to advise patients about the medicine they stock. However there is a limit to the amount of background information a pharmacist can give in a chemists shop. The web is uniquely suited to providing layers of background information to patients.

Providing information

Dr Fox provides information pages giving brief details about the conditions we treat. Before a patient starts a consultation with Dr Fox they see a page of important information outlining the most important safety information concerning treatment. The web is ideally suited to providing information in differing levels of detail. We are able to provide links to study data concerning treatments for those people interested in this level of detail.

Checking and double checking

The consultation process used by Dr Fox allows us to make sure patients can take their treatment safely. All consultations are assessed by a UK GMC registered doctor before a prescription is issued.

If you think an online prescribing service is not registered with the Care Quality Commission you can email marked ‘medical services’. Submissions can be anonymous and will be investigated.