Concern among pharmacists over Falsified Medicines Directive

A survey of UK pharmacists has found that 27 per cent are unaware of the date the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) comes into force.

The poll by the Pharmaceutical Journal also found that almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the 73 per cent who have the 9 February 2019 implementation date in their diaries claimed they did not fully understand how the EU supply chain security legislation would affect their work.

However, 71 per cent were concerned that workload would increase, 58 per cent were worried about the costs associated with FMD compliance, and 52 per cent were anxious about the potential impact on patient services, such as waiting times for prescriptions.

Despite the concerns surrounding the legislation, which will see medicine packs issued with a tamper-proof security seal and a 2D trackable barcode, 68 per cent of pharmacists believed the Directive was necessary to protect patients.

In June, the UK national medicines verification organization (NMVO) SecurMed UK awarded a contract to Arvato Systems to start developing and implementing the IT systems that will be needed to meet the FMD’s security feature requirements. A pilot is due to start early next year.

Arvato is one of two just contract partners nominated by the European Medicines Verification Organization (EMVO) to provide the national medicines verification systems for drugs, along with SolidSoft, after third option Aegate filed for insolvency earlier this year.

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