Apply for manufacturer or wholesaler of medicines licences

How to apply for, update and cancel licences for the manufacture, import and wholesale of human and veterinary medicines.


Manufacturer licence

To make, assemble or import human medicines, you need a manufacturer licence, issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

To qualify for a manufacturer licence you need to show MHRA that you comply with EU good manufacturing practice (GMP) and pass regular GMP inspections of your site.

Wholesaler licence

To sell or supply medicines to anyone other than the patient using the medicine, you need a wholesaler licence – also known as a wholesale dealer licence or wholesale distribution authorisation.

To qualify for a wholesale licence, you must comply with good distribution practice (GDP) and pass regular GDP inspections of your site.

You can view authorised manufacturers of medicines and authorised wholesalers of medicines by visiting the MHRA GMDP website or for licences issued prior to 1st January 2021 visit the Eudra GMDP website.

Apply for a manufacturer/importer licence

How to apply

Complete the application form for a manufacturer’s licence.

Email your form and the required accompanying documents to

Fees for new applications will be payable on invoice.

See guidance note 5, which contains notes for applicants and holders of a manufacturer licence.

You can refer to the Rules and Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Distributors (The Orange Guide) available on the Pharmaceutical Press website for more information.

Types of manufacturer licence

There are different manufacturer licences available depending on whether you are manufacturing licensed, unlicensed or investigational medicinal products.

Type of licence Purpose
Manufacturer/importer licence Manufacture and/or assemble licensed medicinal products, including export to a country outside the EEA

Import licensed medicinal products from countries outside the EEA
Manufacturer ‘specials’ licence Manufacture unlicensed medicines ‘specials’

Import unlicensed medicinal products from outside the EEA
Manufacturer licence for investigational medicinal products Manufacture investigational medicinal products for use in clinical trials
Manufacturer licence exempt advanced therapy products (Hospital exemption licence) Manufacture exempt ‘advanced therapy medicinal products’ on a non-routine basis for use in UK hospitals
Manufacturer licence for non-orthodox practitioners Mix and assemble licensed general sales list (GSL) medicinal products

Companies applying for a marketing authorisation (also known as a product licence) need to have a manufacturer licence first. The manufacturer licence will be granted first providing the product is in the process of being approved.

Apply for a wholesale dealer licence (wholesale distribution authorisation)

Individuals or companies that sell or supply human medicines to anyone other than the patient must have a wholesale dealer licence.

You must also hold this licence if you sell on medicines that you have imported from the EEA.

The wholesale dealer licence allows you to:

  • sell, supply, offer for sale or supply pharmacy, prescription only, traditional herbal and GSL medicines wholesale
  • import unlicensed medicinal products from countries inside the EEA
  • export medicinal products to countries of EEA

See guidance note 6, which contains notes for applicants and holders of a wholesale dealer license or broker registration.

You can refer to the Rules and Guidance for Pharmaceutical Distributors (The Green Guide) available on the Pharmaceutical Press website for more information.

Pharmacists need to apply for a wholesale dealer licence if they want to supply medicines to anyone other than directly to the public. See guidance on the limited circumstances where supply may be made without a wholesale dealer’s licence.

How to apply

Use the PCL portal.

You must pay the fee for a new application for the wholesale distribution authorisation to be processed.

Veterinary licences

MHRA have an agreement with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to administer those licences only where the company undertakes both human and veterinary activities.

If your company only undertakes the manufacture or wholesale of veterinary products you need to contact for further information.

Complete the application form for a manufacturer or wholesale dealer licence for veterinary products.

You can find further information in the veterinary medicines guidance notes

Types of veterinary licence

There are different manufacturer licences available depending on whether you are manufacturing licensed, unlicensed or investigational medicinal products.

Type of licence Purpose
Manufacturer/ importer’s authorisation Manufacture and/or assemble (package) veterinary medicinal products

Wholesale deal licensed veterinary medicinal products imported from countries outside EEA
Manufacturer ‘specials’ authorisation Allows the holder to manufacture unlicensed veterinary medicinal products (commonly referred to as ‘specials’)
Wholesale dealer authorisation Allows the holder to wholesale deal veterinary medicines (POM-V, POM-VPS, NFA-VPS, AVM-GSL)
  Import of unlicensed veterinary medicinal products from inside the EEA

Application process (for all applications)

Your application will be assessed by MHRA and should take 90 working days to process.

Variations to licences should take 30 working days to process. This will be extended to 90 working days if the variation requires an inspection.

MHRA may:

  • check the identities of the ‘responsible person’ and named staff
  • check a named company with Companies House

Inspection process (for all applications and variations)

The inspection process is similar to that for good manufacturing practice.

For manufacturing sites you will have to provide a site master plan.

Shortly after the inspection you will receive a report, with details of any issues raised. When the inspector is satisfied that these issues have been addressed, MHRA will grant your registration and you will receive:

  • a licence document
  • a manufacturer’s certificate of good manufacturing practice (GMP) for each inspected site
  • for wholesale distributors, a certificate of good distribution practice (GDP) for each inspected site

This information is available on the EUDRAGMDP database of the European Medicines Agency website.

Applicants can find important information to assist them in the process of applying and holding a licence on our Inspectorate blog.

Make a change to a licence (variation)

You must tell MHRA if the details of your original manufacturer or wholesaler licence application change. The 2 types of changes are called standard and administration changes (also known as variations).

Standard variations include changes to:

  • the business process
  • the named person(s)
  • the site address

A standard variation may require an inspection and you may have to pay an inspection fee as well as the variation fee.

See variation forms for manufacturer licences.

See wholesaler licences variations

Administrative variations include changes to:

  • telephone numbers and email addresses
  • contact persons
  • the company name
  • the additions or deletions of listed products on the manufacturer licence

Making identical changes to a number of licences

If you need to make exactly the same change(s) to a number of different licences (with the same licence number), the licence that has the higher fee will be charged at the full rate and the remaining licences at 50%.

Requesting multiple changes at the same time

We only charge per submission and not per change so if you make a number of changes you will only have to make a single payment for the change which attracts the higher fee.

Change of ownership

If you do not hold a manufacturer’s licence or wholesale distribution authorisation you may apply for a change of ownership of the licence if you buy a company that holds the licence and you wish to continue to conduct the same activities.

If this concerns a WDA(H) authorisation, use the Portal to register the new company and submit a new application. When completing the application, select yes to the question Is this a change of ownership application? and then please provide the WDA(H) licence number for the authorisation you are changing ownership from in the free text box. Once this has been processed the old WDA(H) Authorisation will be terminated.

When completing the new application, only the company name, name of the licence holder and site name may change, to make any other changes you must apply for a variation after the new application has been approved.

If this concerns a manufacturing licence, then complete forms 1V, 2V and 3V and send in a Certificate of Incorporation to

Withdraw your licence application

You can withdraw your application at any point but you may not get all of your money back.

For manufacturing licences and wholesale distribution authorisations, if you withdraw your application before the inspection, 90% of the application fee will be refunded. If the inspection has taken place, 50% of the application fee will be refunded.

For wholesale distribution authorisations, the full inspection fee will be payable, unless you withdraw the application for the licence at least 15 days before the date on which the inspection is due to take place.

Terminate a licence

To request termination of licence you should complete the Request to terminate a licence/ authorisation/ registration (MS Word Document, 396 KB) and email it to

There is no fee for terminating a licence, however to avoid having to pay the annual service fee, you must make the request before 31 December.

Fees and payment

The annual charge for maintaining your licence is payable on invoice in April of each year.

The fee payable depends on the type of application, the number of sites, and how much income you make from the wholesale of licensed medicines.

Type of fee Wholesaler licences Manufacturer licences Non-orthodox practitioners
Full application fee £1803 £3143 £183
Reduced application £902 n/a n/a
Standard inspection (per site) £1936 £2655 £295
Standard herbal/homeopathic inspection fee (per site) £1367 £1615 n/a
Reduced rate inspection £968 n/a n/a
Reduced rate herbal/homeopathic inspection £744 £994 n/a
Standard variation £486 £514 £257
Administrative variation £257 £257 n/a
Change of ownership £398 £344 n/a
Renewal n/a n/a £178 (every 5 years)
Annual service fees £288, £172 (reduced) £468 n/a

Reduced fees apply for wholesale distributors if:

  • you are applying for a wholesaler licence to sell GSL medicines only
  • you are a registered pharmacy and the wholesale of medicines amounts to less than 15% of your total turnover in licensed medicinal products
  • you are not a registered pharmacy and you make less than £35,000 a year from licensed medicinal products

Full guidance is available on all MHRA fees.

Use GOV.UK Pay to make a payment to MHRA.



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Published 18 December 2014
Last updated 13 October 2022 + show all updates
  1. New information posted under 'Change of Ownership'

  2. Updated the payment info section to include the GOV.UK Pay payment platform

  3. Updated the Request to terminate a licence/authorisation/registration form to add a question regarding retention records.

  4. Changed contact email address and replaced four broken links.

  5. Published updated version of form used to request the termination of a licence.

  6. Due to technical issues the portal is currently unavailable. We are working hard to get this restored as quickly as possible - we have updated our message.

  7. Changed MHRA address.

  8. Added links to Department of Health consultations on proposals to amend the statutory scheme that controls the prices of branded health service medicines and also draft requirements for the provision of information related to the sales and purchases of health service products.

  9. Added a link to our inspectorate blog, where applicants can find important information to assist them in the process of applying and holding a licence.

  10. Changed means of contacting for registering a new company in 'Change of ownership' section

  11. First published.