Supermarket chain Aldi has confirmed that it is in the process of rectifying in-store signage that labelled healthcare products as ‘Health & Pharmacy’.

This comes after concerns were raised about the use of the word ‘pharmacy’ for a non-registered premises, and as the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) said it was ‘looking into’ the issue.

Primary Care Network (PCN) pharmacist Ben Merriman shared a photograph on social media site Twitter of the in-store sign, asking: ‘What are the rules regarding use of the word "pharmacy"?’ He added that he was ‘not sure’ whether the Aldi store in Barrow should be using the term in this context.

The GPhC responded today on Twitter to say that it was ‘looking into’ the issue.

And Aldi confirmed to The Pharmacist this afternoon that the signage has only been used in a small number of Aldi stores and is in the process of being rectified.

The GPhC’s website says it will investigate cases where the term ‘pharmacy’ is ‘linked to a product or service linked to medicinal or health type services’ and where there is ‘a real risk that patients or members of the public could reasonably be misled, or where public health and wellbeing could be implicated’.

It adds that 'pharmacy' is a protected title in legislation, and that in order to protect public safety, it is an offence to use the term 'pharmacy' in respect of a retail business that is not a registered pharmacy or the pharmacy department of a hospital or health centre.

‘If you use the title ‘pharmacy’ in relation to a business not registered with us, we will consider what risks there may be to public safety and then decide on the actions we may need to take to protect patients and the public,’ the website reads.

A business must register a physical premises as a pharmacy if it intends to sell pharmacy medicines, or supply pharmacy or prescription only medications (POMs) against prescriptions, as per the Medicines Act 1968.

And to join the GPhC’s register, the organisation running the premises must meet the regulator’s standards for registered pharmacies.

GPhC been approached for further comment.