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Posted 17 June 2015 | By Michael Mezher
New rules to help consumers in the EU identify legitimate online pharmacies are set to take effect on 1 July 2015. The rules require online pharmacies operating in the EU to display a "common logo," and register with authorities in the member states they do business in.
Recognizing the threat to public health and safety posed by falsified medicines sold online, in 2011 the European Parliament and Council adopted Directive 2011/62/EU, also known as the Falsified Medicines Directive, which provides provisions for preventing falsified medicines from entering into legal supply chains. The term falsified medicines is used to describe any medicinal product that has been falsified in some way, including counterfeit and unlicensed products, doctored supply chain history and fake labeling.
As part of its provisions, the Falsified Medicines Directive required the European Commission (EC) to develop a common logo to identify legal online pharmacies, as well as "electronic and cryptographic requirements for verification of the authenticity of the common logo." Additionally, the directive requires online pharmacies to display the common logo on every page related to online pharmaceuticals sales to the public.
Following a public consultation in 2012, the EC adopted Regulation (EU) No 699/2014in June 2014. The regulation specifies the common logo's design, which features horizontal green and gray stripes, a white cross and a placeholder for the national flag of the member state the online pharmacy is registered in.
Beginning with the passage of Regulation (EU) No 699/2014, companies and regulators had one year to comply with the common logo and registration requirements of the Falsified Medicines Directive.
While the requirements vary from country to country, any member state that allows online pharmaceutical sales will require online pharmacies to register with a local competent authority and display the new logo by 1 July 2015.
European Commission, MHRA Press Release
Tags: Online pharmacies, Falsified medicines, EU common logo