EU logo for genuine online pharmacies launched

EU logoThe European Commission has introduced a logo for legitimate online pharmacies that aims to prevent consumers being duped into purchasing falsified medicines.

The launch of the logo is one of the requirements laid down in the Falsified Medicines Directive (2011/62/EU), alongside other measures such as the introduction of safety features on packs - due to take place in 2018 - tighter controls on active ingredient imports into the EU and strengthened record-keeping requirements for wholesale distributors.

The logo (pictured) will appear on the websites of legally operating online pharmacies in the EU and will link to the websites of the relevant national competent authority where all legally operating online pharmacies in their respective countries will be listed.

It continues to make use of the medical cross, despite criticism levelled at earlier versions by the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) as it is trademarked in some European nations such as France, and reserved for sellers of prescription medicines in others. As some sites may sell over-the-counter medicines this could cause confusion, said the PGEU last year.

The Regulation implementing the logo comes into effect next month, and EU member states have a year to prepare the listings to support its use.  Official logo schemes already operate in other countries, such as the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) scheme operated by the US National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Such schemes have their critics, however. A logo can easily be replicated and added to a rogue pharmacy website - there have been reports of this occurring with the VIPPS logo - and of course it is not beyond the wit of the criminals behind these sites to link to a fake site purporting to be operated by a national regulator, and many consumers would be hard pressed to spot the deception.

To try to tackle that issue the Commission is asking member states to conduct public awareness campaigns to highlight the new logo and - by extension - the listings of legally operating online pharmacies.

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