Deadline nears on EU logo for online pharmacies

EU logoThe deadline for an EU scheme requiring pharmacies selling medicines online to register and display a common logo is fast approaching.

From 1 July, all legitimate online pharmacies will have a logo (pictured) as one of a series of measures introduced under the EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) intended to safeguard patient health.

The FMD gave the European Commission a legal basis to establish the design of a common logo as well as the technical, electronic and cryptographic requirements for verification of its authenticity. EU member states have to take responsibility for enforcing the requirement to display the logo, which is registered to the seller.

According to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA),  online pharmacies need to display the logo on every page of their website offering medicines for sale. The logo hyperlinks to the pharmacy's entry in the MHRA's list of registered online sellers.
Similarly, if the registered person retails a medicine through a third-party market place website, then the third-party market place service provider must display that registered entity's common logo on every page that offers their medicines for sale to the public.
Under the rules of the new scheme the medicine being offered online must be licensed in the member state where the member of public who buys the medicine is based.
"The new logo scheme should provide people buying medicines online with the reassurance that they are buying from a legitimate site," commented Lynda Scammell, senior policy advisor at the MHRA.

"Buying from an unregistered site could mean you do not know what medicines you are getting, and you could even be damaging your health," she added.

The MHRA notes this is a different scheme to the voluntary logo run by the UK's General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The EU Common Logo is a legal requirement across Europe whilst the GPhC run a voluntary logo scheme which is applicable only to registered pharmacies.
The penalty for selling medicines online without being registered and not displaying the logo is up to two years in prison or a fine or both, notes the MHRA.

Around this time last year, the annual Pangea operation run by law enforcement agencies in 11 countries resulted in the seizure of $36m-worth of illicit medicines, shut down 10,600 rogue pharmacy websites and made 237 arrests, giving an indication of the scale of the international medicines counterfeiting trade.

Results from this year's operation are anticipated shortly

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top