Non Prescription Drugs

Depending on the country you are in, the legislation on online pharmacies can be very different. Here, it is online pharmacies accessible from France that interest us. The latter can officially sell drugs on the internet since 1 January 2013. However, this does not apply to all medicines. It is therefore essential to review the operation of online pharmacies in France.

What can you buy?

While in some countries all medicines without exception can be sold, this is not the case in France. Indeed, it is impossible to legally obtain drugs that normally require a prescription from a doctor. In this case, you must go to a traditional pharmacy, because this kind of medicine is prohibited for sale online in France.

Thus, when we talk about online pharmacies, in reality we do not find all the products present in a conventional pharmacy. Only non-prescription drugs may be available online.


This is a real obstacle to the development of online pharmacies. Permitting the sale of prescription drugs could boost the online pharmacy market. The reason for this blockage is above all safe. By banning the sale of these types of drugs, the government is blocking access to drugs that can be dangerous or used for other purposes than for treatment. The person is therefore obliged to go to a conventional pharmacy and present a prescription from his doctor to be able to benefit from these drugs. Yet, as discussed in another article, online drugs can only be sold by pharmacists. So there is also a more lobbyist reason for pharmacists. These do not necessarily see as good news the development of online pharmacies, since they can lose many customers.

Still, it may be relatively simple to implement an electronic prescription to secure the online purchase of over-the-counter medications. If not in other countries, it is the doctor himself or the clinic who orders the drugs for the client so that he receives them directly at home. So there are solutions that we may see develop in France in the coming years, when the legislation will be relaxed on this subject.

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