Buying medicinal products online - the Common European Logo
In this modern era of the internet the public have the opportunity to purchase medicinal products online. The public must therefore be informed of the dangers associated with purchasing medicinal products online.
How can the public ensure that an online pharmacy is legitimate and trustworthy?
The public must be aware that unless medicines are purchased from online pharmacies that operate legally, they run the risk of purchasing falsified medicinal products. The only way to ensure that medicines are purchased from a safe and trustworthy source is to look for the online logo and check the register of approved online pharmacies in the relevant Member State.
Falsified medicinal products may be ineffective, harmful, or even fatal. They are dangerous because they are not subject to the necessary quality controls as licensed medicines and hence may contain:
· unsuitable ingredients
· incorrect ingredients
· no active ingredients
· improper dosing of ingredients
Legitimately licensed medicinal products are controlled by strict regulations in order to ensure that they are safe, effective and of good quality. There are strict requirements for those involved in the supply chain. Therefore purchasing medicinal products over the internet from untrusted sources may place your health at risk.
Under the Directive on falsified medicines (2011/62 / EU), the European Commission has adopted an implementing regulation (699/2014), which determines the design of a common logo for legitimate online pharmacies. According to the regulation, from 1st July 2015 all legitimate online pharmacies within the EU (European Union) must have the Common European Logo, and must be listed in the register on the website of the Member State where they are established. The website of the Member State, via a hyperlink, is connected to the website of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which contains all of the information regarding the approved online pharmacies that operate within the European Union.
Note that, at present there are no registered online pharmacies in Cyprus.
Appearance of the Common European Logo
What is the purpose of the logo?
The logo will be displayed on the websites of all EU pharmacies which are included in the register of online pharmacies by the relevant National Competent Authority. In order for a pharmacy to appear in the register it must satisfy the conditions laid down by the national law of the Member State in which it is established. The flag of the Member State in which the online pharmacy is registered is displayed in the logo. On the website of the Competent Authority of the Member State you can check whether a particular online pharmacy is listed in the register.
This check must always be performed when purchasing medicinal products online. In this way you ensure that the pharmacy from which medicines are purchased is authorised by the National Authority of the Member State.
Step by step towards safety
1. If the online pharmacy from which you purchase a medicine has the logo, then it is easy to check whether it is legal:
First of all look for the logo.
2. Second, you must click on the logo in order to be directed to the website of the National Competent Authority. Check if the pharmacy is included in the relevant register.
Finally, it is important to know that you may only buy medicinal products which are authorized in the country in which you are located.
Furthermore, there may be differences between Member States in relation to the classification of medicinal products and the terms of the marketing authorization (for example, prescription or non-prescription). Please visit the portal of the Pharmaceutical Services where you can find information about the medicines registered in Cyprus https://www.phs.moh.gov.cy/web/guest/drug-search