Although homeopaths prescribe remedies, they do not sell them. Only pharmacies regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council can sell most of the homeopathic medicines available in the UK.
These remedies are mostly classified as unlicensed medicines and are prepared in accordance with the standards of official homeopathic pharmacopoeia, which describes the manufacturing procedure and provides assurances of safety and quality.
Pharmacies and pharmacists may legally supply unlicensed remedies to individual patients, and they may be ordered either by telephone or through the internet, or by going to the pharmacy in person.
The official body that regulates the manufacture of unlicensed medicines supplied to doctors and pharmacies is the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Over the counter
A small number of the more commonly used homeopathic medicines, such as Arnica, Natrum muriaticum and Sulphur, are registered and ‘licensed’ (by the MHRA). These remedies may be purchased, in low potencies, over the counter in outlets other than pharmacies, such as health food shops and clinics.
A few of the licensed products contain a combination of remedies, with specific indications for their use. An example is Nelsons’ Pollenna, which contains Allium cepa, Euphrasia and Sabadilla, and is indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with hay fever and similar allergies.
Remedies from Overseas
The majority of remedies can be sourced in the UK from one of the established pharmacies. However, homeopaths may occasionally wish to obtain or recommend to their patients remedies purchased from pharmacies outside the UK. This situation is most likely to arise if a patient is abroad and needs a remedy. In such situations, to ensure that the remedies are of good quality, the homeopath is advised to check that the pharmacy is regulated by the relevant medicines agency in that country. Importing homeopathic remedies from within the European Union comes within the ‘free movement of goods’, established in 1993 as one of the freedoms of the single market. However, remedies imported from outside the EU could be subject to confiscation by customs, unless they are for personal use.
The following homeopathic manufacturers are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council and offer a prompt next day service of remedies, first aid kits and books by post.