PRESS RELEASE: Member States obliged to inform the public about falsified medicines and the Common Logo – new report reveals the need for greater collaboration

In collaboration with the European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU), a survey was constructed to better understand Member State’s legal obligation to inform the public about falsified medicines and the Common Logo*.

ASOP EU and the EAEP firmly believe that given the rising scourge of falsified medicines (where criminals have stepped up their illegal activities especially during COVID and since), it is essential that the public is made more aware of websites that sell medicines illegally as well as understanding how they can access authentic medicines via the Internet.

The survey carried out with 12 Member States revealed the following key points:

  • All respondents regarded that it was a high or medium priority to publicise the meaning of the Common Logo and falsified medicines
  • Many MSs had now reverted to static website pages as part of the agency website and so there was little evidence of impactful contemporary active outreach campaigns
  • MSs were keen to collaborate and run campaigns collectively.

Based on the survey results, the following recommendations were made in the report (click here to read the report):

Recommendation 1: Design a collective outreach “generic” campaign by Member States
Recommendation 2: Set up a workshop with EAEP and ASOP EU with stakeholders to examine the success of such a campaign among customers/patients
Recommendation 3: Create a community of interested parties to enable further Member State collaboration on the important topic of falsified medicines and educational approaches.

*Falsified Medicines Directive: The Falsified Medicines Directive aims to prevent falsified medicines entering the legal supply chain and reaching patients. It introduces harmonised safety and strengthened control measures across Europe by applying new measures, such as the EU Common Logo for online pharmacies.

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*EU Common Logo: The common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in EU countries was first introduced by Directive 2011/62/EU (Falsified Medicines Directive) as one of the measures to fight against falsified medicines. Article 85D of the Directive, legally obliges each Member State to provide information campaigns to inform the public about the meaning of a falsified medicine as well the EU Common Logo.

The logo consists of a national flag in the middle left side of the logo which corresponds to the EU country where the pharmacy or retailer is registered or authorised. Only national flags of EU countries or those of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein feature.

The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) represents the voice of e-pharmacies on the European continent. The EAEP promotes its interests mainly with political stakeholders, regional and business actors, with the ultimate aim to improve the health of Europe’s citizens and strengthen the European healthcare system.

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The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU) is a not for profit Community Interest Company and represents a multi-sectorial coalition of organisations and individuals, dedicated to creating an environment that enables patients to buy their medicines online safely (where it is legal to do so). 
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