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On 17 June 2016, Fight the Fakes participated in a stakeholder roundtable with expert organizations involved in protecting people from illicit medicines online in the EU.
The meeting, convened by our partner Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU) and hosted at Google offices in Brussels, welcomed representatives from ASOP Global, the Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM), the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN), the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the European Healthcare Distribution Association (GIRP), the European Association of Mail Service Pharmacies (EAMSP), the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and FakeShare.
The stakeholder meeting provided the chance to share upcoming initiatives in the field of fighting fake medicines online, to share lessons learned, enhance collaboration and to establish more concretely the key messages to inform the public about buying medicines online safely.
The meeting also discussed the implementation of the EU Common Logo, a seal to appear on every webpage in Europe that is selling a medicine, as part of the Falsified Medicines Directive. EU Member States are obliged to introduce this security system and run awareness campaigns about falsified medicines and to publicize the purpose of the logo. The Italian, Netherlands and UK health agencies took the opportunity to present their plans and activities on this important patient safety initiative.
Patients should only buy medicines from online retailers that are legitimate and registered with national authorities. As stated by the European Medicines Agency, “When you buy medicines from unregistered sources you are at greater risk of purchasing falsified medicines. These medicines may not have passed through the usual rigorous evaluation processes that ensure that a medicine is fit for the EU market.”
Accidentally purchasing fake medicines online is not only a waste of money, but could also lead to a disease being left untreated, severe side effects and/or even consuming poisonous substances.