Conservative MEPs welcome crackdown on "despicable" fake medicine trade

10-Feb-2016 @ 13:45

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Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

New  EU measures targeting the multi-million euro counterfeit medicines trade have been welcomed by Conservative MEPs.

From February 2019 most prescription drugs and some non-prescription medicines will have to carry a unique bar code confirming the authenticity of each individual pack. The packaging must also feature an anti-tamper device.

The changes are aimed at improving patient safety and follow reports from Interpol that fake versions of prescription drugs , which often contain incorrect and sometimes unsafe dosage levels, have been found in consignments of illegal weapons and narcotics, confirming a criminal link. The majority of websites selling counterfeit medicines have Russian IP addresses and are re-routed through China to avoid detection.

The World Health Organisation recently estimated the counterfeit medicines trade to be worth €70 billion.

Conservative East of England MEP Vicky Ford, Chairman of the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, said: "Such safety features will help protect British consumers against the increasing health threat of falsified medicines.

"It will mean drugs are much easier to trace all the way from manufacturer to chemist's counter and be a significant blow to the despicable gangs that profit from peddling fake medicines."

The European Conservatives' Consumer Affairs Spokesman Dan Dalton, who represents the West Midlands, also welcomed the new regulation.

"More and more people are buying medicines online and they need to have the knowledge that they are not being ripped off or putting their health at risk," he said.

Details of the updated medicine verification rules have been published by the European Commission at

Contact Robert Taylor
Head of Media, Conservative MEPs
Mobile +32 498 984 760

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