Medicines online

Buying medicines, pharmaceutical-grade dietary supplements and slimming aids online may be convenient, but it may also be illegal and dangerous for your health.

There are now many pharmaceutical businesses in Sweden and the EU offering customers online medicines legally, dependably and safely. Despite this, many Swedes are buying medicines from illegal markets.

Although genuine goods are sold on these markets, there may also be counterfeit, adulterated or ineffectual products.

  • Counterfeit: Many medicines are skilfully made pirate copes of approved medicines. As a consumer, this means that you cannot be sure that you are receiving either the correct medicine or the correct dose.
  • Adulterated: Even products that are claimed to be entirely natural and safe (e.g. dietary supplements) may contain pharmaceutical substances. They may even sometimes contain prohibited and dangerous substances.
  • Ineffectual: Some products sold online have no active ingredients and provide no treatment whatsoever.

Buying medicines safely (information from the Swedish Medical Products Agency).

Is the country a Member State?

If you are uncertain whether the country that you are trading with is a Member State, you can visit the website of the European Union and consult a list of Member States or search for a specific country.

Country profiles (European Union)

From another EEA country

You may order medicines from another EEA country (includes EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway) provided that the medicine is:

  • for your personal use
  • approved in the other EEA country and has been obtained from a pharmacy (or equivalent) in that country
  • approved and non-prescription in Sweden or, in the case of prescription medicines, prescribed by a qualified prescriber in the EEA.

However, you may only order a quantity of medicines equating to no more than one year’s consumption. Remember that it is you that has to corroborate satisfaction of these conditions.

Paying customs duty and VAT

If you are receiving medicines by post from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you may have to pay any customs duty, VAT and other taxes. If a transport company is handling carriage, this company makes the customs declaration for you.

From a country outside the EEA

As a private individual, you may not receive medicines sent to you from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This is regardless of the type of medicine. Consequently, you cannot order, for example, pharmaceutical-grade dietary supplements from countries outside the EEA.

Permit from the Swedish Medical Products Agency

Any preparation that is classed as a medicine in Sweden is subject to Swedish law, regardless of whether or not it is classed as a medicine in another country. This means that bringing a medicine into Sweden may require a permit from the Swedish Medical Products Agency.

The rules for various medicines (information from the Swedish Medical Products Agency).

Narcotics are always prohibited

You may never receive medicines classed as narcotics via letter or parcel, regardless of where the medicines come from. The same applies to certain medicines classed as doping agents.

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