European Commission launches a new mandatory logo for online sale of medicines to protect patients from falsified medicines

Bratislava, 9.10.2015

As a part of its policy in the fight against falsified medicines, the EU Commission introduced a logo that will allow patients to identify authorised online pharmacies providing authentic medicines and dispensaries of medical devices operating online sale of medicines. The logo will appear on the websites of all legally operating online pharmacies in the European Union (EU). In Slovakia, this measure will affect more than 50 pharmacies.

Falsified medicines are a major threat to public health and safety. As falsifications become more sophisticated, the risk that falsified medicines reach patients in the EU increases every year.  Patients receive falsified medicines mostly via various anonymous websites. When buying medicines online, patients must be aware that unless they buy from legally-operating online medicine suppliers, they  risk buying medicines that are falsified. These medicines might contain ingredients, including active ingredients, which are of bad quality or in the wrong dose – either too high or too low.

In order to avoid purchasing illegal or falsified medicines, the European Commission launches a new logo for online pharmacies to protect patients. In all EU Member States the websites of legally operating online pharmacies and dispensaries of medical devices must be marked by this logo.

Patient, who will want to purchase medicines via online pharmacies, will be able to verify its legitimacy. Upon clicking on the logo, patient will be automatically redirected to the website of the competent authority in the member state where the internet pharmacy, which he is interested in, is established. He will be taken to a specific page, where the internet pharmacies, which are allowed to operate in the given member state, are listed. In this way patient would be able to know whether he is dealing with a genuine internet pharmacy established in the European Union or not. In case the retailer is not on the list, it is recommended not to continue with the purchase.

The EU logo has the same design, shape and size all throughout the EU with the national flag of the member state where that internet pharmacy is established inserted in the white rectangle in the middle (left side) of the EU common logo. 

The obligation to establish and use the common logo is implemented since the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 699/2014 of 24 June 2014 on the design of the common logo to identify persons offering medicinal products for sale at a distance to the public and the technical, electronic and cryptographic requirements for verification of its authenticity.

The use of the common logo is in EU member states condition for signing a license agreement with the European Commission. In the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Health authorized the State Institute for Drug Control to sign the license agreement. The contract was signed on 17th of July 2015.

For more information about the use of the common logo click on the link below:


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