Medicines are said to hold a licence when they are approved for use with patients in the UK. This licence states who the medicine should be given to and which medical conditions it should be used to treat.
When they are used for a group of patients or a medical condition outside this license this is known “off-label” prescribing.
Not all medicines are licensed for use in the UK. Sometimes they are licensed in other countries and sometimes they don’t have a license at all. These are known as “unlicensed” medicines.
Over the counter medicines are the non prescription medicines which can be bought at the pharmacy or chemist shop in the UK.