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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Id like to know if I am able to have the word "pharmacy" in

Customer Question

I'd like to know if I am able to have the word "pharmacy" in the name of my company. It's a recruitment agency. I have been told that under the medicines act you are not permitted to call your company "pharmacy" unless you are actually a pharmacy. We are recruiting pharmacists, so that is why I want to have pharmacy in the name.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/67/part/IV/crossheading/provisions-as-to-use-of-certain-titles-descriptions-and-emblems#commentary-c998666
Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today.
I will have a look at the legislation and come back to you shortly.
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
I have checked s.78 Medicines Act 1968 which states that it's illegal to use the word "pharmacy" unless you are lawfully conducting a pharmacy business. A recruitment agency is not a pharmacy business.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you alex, could our company name have the name "pharmacists" in the title?And also, is there anything to stop us having the word pharmacy in our domain name? I.e website address and email addresses.
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
No. That would be illegal under s.78(5)(a) which states:
...no person who is not a pharmacist shall take or use any of the following titles, that is to say, pharmaceutical chemist, pharmaceutist, pharmacist, member of the Pharmaceutical Society, and Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society.
The Act is basically saying you are not allowed to use words such as pharmacist, pharmacy, chemist, druggist etc unless you are a registered pharmacy/pharmacist. I guess there are two reasons for this: so the public are not mislead and exclusivity.
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
By the way it would not be illegal to say, for example, '...we ABC Recruitment Agency specialise in placing pharmacists...' or something along those lines as opposed to '...ABC Pharmaceutical Agency...' or ' ABC Pharmacists'. The latter would be illegal.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Alex, is there anything in the law to say that we can't use the word pharmacy in our domain name? Eg Email address and web address?
Eg abcpharmacy.co.uk but our company name would be abc
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
I think this would also be a problem. Section 78(6) states:
.... No person shall, in connection with any business, use any title, description or emblem likely to suggest—
(a)that he possesses any qualification with respect to the sale, manufacture or assembly of medicinal products which he does not in fact possess, or
(b)that any person employed in the business possesses any such qualification which that person does not in fact possess....
The use of the word "pharmacy" in your email and web address may give the impression that you are in that line of business, which the Act says you are not allowed to do.
Alice H and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Alex, is there any reason that I couldn't call my company "PSK Pharma"?
Amy
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
No reason at all. There is nothing unlawful about PSK Pharma as far as I can see.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I notice there is a company in India called psk pharma, does that matter? They don't seem to be registered with companies house in the uk...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Alex, did you see my last reply?
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
There may be trademark and/or copyright issues involved. Simply because they're in India doesn't mean that you can use the name in the UK. You have to be careful about using somebody else's name even if they are abroad. You may have to investigate their trademarks etc before you go ahead with yours.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Could I ask you to do that for me or should I ask it as a new question?
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
That's very kind but as we are not a law firm I do not have the resources available to carry out the investigation for you - we only do Q&A. I can refer you to a commercial practice but it could be a little expensive. If you would like me to signpost you to a law firm then please let me know.