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What Is An Online Pharmacy?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

In this pandemic, we’ve all become more and more aware of what services are available online. One of these is pharmaceutical services. With something as important as medication, you of course want to ensure that you are dealing with safe and regulated practices. 

We understand that this may be difficult with all the different pharmacy terms you hear these days. To help you with some of your concerns, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions about online and digital pharmacies.

What is an online chemist / pharmacy?

An online pharmacy is simply a pharmacy that operates online. This means that they will either have a website or app through which you can order your medication. They are also referred to as internet pharmacies.

Are online pharmacies safe?

All pharmacies would need to be registered. It’s important that for any pharmacy you go to, online or in person, that you check that they have the necessary accreditations and have been NHS approved.

What’s the difference between a community pharmacy and an online pharmacy?

When we talk about community pharmacies, we’re generally referring to the local pharmacy in your area – usually on your high street. They’re typically independent pharmacies. Community pharmacies can still provide online services as well as in their store. For example, when a local pharmacy is with Healthera, their patients can order prescriptions online.

Online pharmacies, however, are not necessarily a part of the community pharmacy category, even though they can service a specific area and therefore be a local online pharmacy, because they are exclusively online and not physically present in the location.

Is Healthera an online pharmacy?

No. Healthera isn’t a pharmacy, but rather provides the technology for pharmacies to best support their patients in providing them with their repeat prescriptions. This technology enables patients to order from their local pharmacy online.

Are digital pharmacies open all day?

There are all day (24 hour) chemists, and pharmacies that are open at set hours in the day. Most commonly, pharmacies go by typical daytime business hours. You can generally contact pharmacies with an online presence, both brick and mortar pharmacies on Healthera, and online pharmacies, at any time of the day.

How do I find a pharmacy near me?

If you use an app like Healthera, you can enter your postcode and see which pharmacies are nearest to you. 

You can also go to the NHS website and search for a pharmacy using your location.


Healthera operates a leading healthcare marketplace that provides patients with medicines, healthcare services and products through the largest digital platform of pharmacies and GPs in the UK, including national chains and independent providers. Download Healthera App to order NHS repeat prescription online!

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