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Single market for goods

Parallel imports of proprietary medicines

The European Commission has published a Communication clarifying how the principle of free movement of goods within the EU applies in practice to parallel imports of medicinal products.

Parallel imports are products imported into one Member State from another and placed on the market in the destination Member State, outside the manufacturer's or its licensed distributor's formal channels. In the case of medicines, such imports are allowed if the product imported is identical or sufficiently similar to one already authorised for sale in the Member State of destination. Aiming to help businesses and national administrations take full advantage of the internal market in medicinal products, the Communication covers the rights and obligations of the parties concerned and the guarantees to which they are entitled according to EU law.

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