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EC unveils online pharmacies logo

Aims to protect patients from falsified medicines
online pharmacies logo

Patients in Europe who acquire drugs through the internet have a new safety measure to ensure they are using a trusted source in the form of a common logo for official online pharmacies.

The European Commission (EC) has introduced the logo last week as part its Falsified Medicinal Products Directive to tackle the growing problem of fake medicines that pass themselves off as real authorised products.

Many of these fake drugs are sold via unofficial websites, and it is hoped the logo will help guide patients to regulated sites that use legally-operating suppliers.

"When buying medicines online, consumers must be aware that unless they buy from legally-operating online medicine suppliers, they run the risk of buying medicines that are falsified”, said European Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg.

“Falsified medicines can be ineffective, harmful or even deadly. The Commission has established a common logo for online pharmacies so consumers can stay safe."

The logo uses a cross and four stripes of colour and will appear on the websites of legally operating online pharmacies in the EU. It will have the flag of the EU country where the online pharmacy was established, and text that will be translated into the official language/s of that country.

If the logo is genuine, clicking on it will take consumers to the national regulatory authority website, which lists all legally operating online pharmacies and other legally authorised retailers of medicines. They can then check that the pharmacy is listed, before continuing with their purchase.

The regulation will come into force in the next four to six weeks, although Member States have one year to prepare for its application, helped by a communication toolkit provided by the EC.

The logo beat out competition from another design after two potential logos were unveiled in 2012 as part of the falsified medicines legislation.

Article by
Tara Craig

3rd July 2014

From: Sales, Regulatory, Healthcare

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