EURACTIV PR

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Date

17 Feb 2011

Sections

Health & Consumers

More and more people are buying medicine on the internet. Faking medicines is high-profit, low risk crime and it is not sufficiently regulated at European level.
 
The European Parliament voted today in favour of its first reading recommendation on the revision of  the current Directive, aiming at establishing new mandatory safety rules for medicines, regulating the sale via the internet and reducing the number of fake medicines for human use in the European Union.

ALDE underlines that the main objective of the report is imposing effective measures to fight against the counterfeited medicinal products based on their risk of falsification.
 
Holger Krahmer (FDP, Germany), ALDE Group shadow rapporteur, "It is a good example for reasoned EU legislation. This legislation puts a halt to criminals forging pharmaceuticals and therefore makes a significant contribution to patient's safety. Precautionary measures for pharmaceuticals in Europe are already at a high level and will be supplemented by this Directive".  
 
Krahmer added:" Effort and benefit must be balanced. Not every pack of aspirin automatically needs to bear a safety feature. Normally, low-priced non-prescription drugs are not the target for falsification. Expensive prescription drugs carry a higher risk of falsification and need therefore to be protected."
 
The report is focusing on instruments like monitoring of falsified drugs and specifying sanctions, inspections and patient data protection. Improvement to the text of the Directive is the introduction of compulsory recall systems in the Member States. In case of the identification of falsified medicines, patients who are in possession of such medicines shall be identified and warned immediately.

Important measures have been agreed for safer online medicines in order to help the public to ascertain that they are linked to an authorised pharmacy. Citizens should be properly informed about  the risks involved in buying medicinal products on the internet.
 
Notes : Approx. 3 700 pharmaceutical companies in the EU have a turnover of 170bn EUR; they employ more than 634 000 people. Approx. 1000 companies are producing generic, i.e. non-patented medicinal products. About 1 000 companies are active in the non-prescription sector (often referred to as over-the-counter medicines - "OTC” medicines). The pharmaceutical sector in the broad sense includes a variety of other actors, ranging from suppliers of medicinal products ingredients (in particular the active pharmaceutical ingredient), importers, wholesalers, retailers/pharmacies, and other traders.
 

For more information, please contact / Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter:
Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84
Halko Norbert - Tel:+32 2 284 26 02 Mob:+32 484 75 17 22
Web: http://www.alde.eu

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