Medicinal products for human use
EU logo for online sale of medicines
The common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in the EU Member States was introduced by Directive 2011/62/EU (the Falsified Medicines Directive) as one of the measures to fight against falsified medicines.
The Directive gave the Commission a legal basis to establish the design of a common logo as well as the technical, electronic and cryptographic requirements for verification of its authenticity. It is however up to the Member States to determine the specific conditions for the retail supply of medicinal products to the public. Member States may impose certain conditions and limitations, e.g. by not allowing online sale of prescription medicines.
On 24 June 2014 the European Commission adopted the new common logo through the Implementing Regulation 699/2014. Member States had one year from this date to ensure that the provisions on the common logo are applied. Therefore, as of 1st of July 2015, all online pharmacies or retailers legally operating in the EU should display the logo.
The Implementing Regulation was prepared taking into account the results of a public consultation:
What is the purpose of the logo?
Falsified medicines are a major threat to public health and safety. The illegal sale of medicinal products to the public via the Internet by retailers operating outside the law is a serious danger as falsified medicinal products may easily reach the public in this way. The logo helps identify the websites which are operating legally. Buying from a legally operating pharmacy or retailer guarantees the safety of the products.
How does the logo look like?
For more information see the technical paper.
The national flag and the text are an integral part of the logo. The flag in the middle left side of the logo corresponds to the Member State where the pharmacy or retailer is registered or authorised. Only national flags of the EU Member States as well as those of Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein are allowed. Therefore, a logo displaying the EU flag, for example, will not be authentic.
How does the logo work?
The logo links to the website of the national competent authority listing all legally operating online pharmacies/retailers. National websites are listed with the European Medicines Agency. By simply clicking on the logo a purchaser of the medicines online will be sent to the entry of the pharmacy on that national list, thus completing the verification process.
The logo can be trusted only if a purchaser, after clicking, is redirected to the entry of that pharmacy on the list of legally operating on-line pharmacies and retailers registered in that Member State on the national authority web-page.