Online pharmacies: More safety for consumers

The European Union is fighting against the online sale of falsified medicines. Therefore a logo was presented to help consumers to distinguish between serious and dubious online pharmacies/retailers.


Onlineshopping is not just booming when it comes to clothes, books or other everyday objects. More and more European consumers buy their medicines online. As this is a highly sensitive topic, consumers should be very careful. Falsified medicines can cause serious consequences; the range goes from ineffectual to health-damaging up to deathly counterfeits, as the EU Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, warns in a press release of the Commission.


Due to the Directove 2011/62/EU (“Falsified Medicine Directive”), the EU prepared diverse measures to beware consumers of such harm. One of them is the new logo which was presented in June.


One click – much info


The green-grey-striped logo with the white cross typical for pharmacies displays the flag of the country in which the pharmacy or retailer is registered. Only flags of the 28 EU Member States and Norway, Iceland and Lithuania are allowed. A logo with for example the EU flag therefore is not valid.


When the consumer clicks on the flag, he gets redirected to the website of the national authority in charge. On the website, all registered and legally operating online pharmacies/retailers are listed. If the supplier in question is not listed, the consumer should not buy there but search for an alternative from the list.


The Member States must implement the logo until mid-2015. From this moment on, buying medicines online will become much more transparent and safer for consumers as they can easily check if the retailers are trustworthy.


More information: press release of the European Commission

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