Guideline on medicines and the Internet

This page provides advice on aspects that need to be considered when ordering medicines online. It will help you to comply with the legal requirements and provides information on potential risks.

Numerous vendors advertise the sale of medicines online and people’s mailboxes are frequently inundated with offers of this kind. Yet experience has shown that medicines ordered online often originate from illegal sources abroad and that the goods are of poor quality.

This is why Swissmedic strongly advises against purchasing medicines online.

Of course Swiss mail-order pharmacies with a corresponding cantonal licence to operate a mail-order business are an exception[1]. It should be noted that a doctor’s prescription must be submitted for each order of medicines.

[1] Legal basis: Art. 27 of the Federal Act on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (TPA; SR 812.21).

Last modification 17.11.2017

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