Intended for healthcare professionals


European Union clamps down on fake drugs

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 22 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1198
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

The European parliament has overwhelmingly approved EU-wide legislation to prevent falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain and being bought unwittingly by the general public. The law will cover internet sales, will introduce new measures to improve safety and traceability, and provides for penalties for any violations.

It is estimated that around 1% of medicinal products, particularly more innovative and lifesaving drugs, now legally sold to the European public are false. In other parts of the world the figure may be as high as 30%.

Regulators distinguish between falsified drugs, which misrepresent their identity, source, and history …

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