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EAEP joins call for meaningful measures to tackle illegal products online

Brussels, 21 February 2022 – the European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP), together with 85 other industry organisations, companies, and NGOs, urges EU policymakers to ensure that all intermediary service providers – not just online marketplaces – know who their business customers really are.

As the association representing Europe’s leading online pharmacies, the EAEP believes thatintroducing broad ‘Know Your Business Costumer’ (KYBC) obligations in the Digital Services Act (DSA), currently being discussed by EU policymakers, is necessary to end the spread of illegal goods online, such as falsified and counterfeit medicines. The KYBC obligation means that hosting providers will not be allowed to provide services to business users whom provide identity information that is invalid or false. Limiting such obligations to online marketplaces, as foreseen in the original DSA proposal, would be a missed opportunity to address the broad range of illegal content online: all providers should be included.

Therefore, the EAEP co-signed an open letter promoted by the KYBC coalition, which brings together several industry organisations and NGOs united by a common goal: protecting European consumers and businesses from online harms.

EAEP members adhere to the EU Common Logo for legally operating online pharmacies, which vouches for the authenticity of the websites and guarantees the safety of the products. A business cannot go online without a domain name, without being hosted, or without advertisement or payment services. Therefore, intermediary service providers, having a direct relationship with the business, are best placed to make sure that only businesses that are willing to comply with the law have access to their services.

Requiring such intermediary services to identify business customers by applying simple due diligence checks on the basis of publicly available data would represent a real, tangible solution. This way, operators of scam websites and operators of online services distributing illegal content would face concrete consequences for their illegal activity.

If you would like to find out more about our positions on the DSA and other key topics, please visit our website.

Profile: The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) represents the interests of e-pharmacies on the European continent. More than 20 million customers and patients across Europe are currently being supplied by our members and on top of that, our online pharmacies and their more than 4,000 employees are currently active in eleven European markets. Founded in 2001 as the EAMSP (European Association of Mail Service Pharmacies) and with its name change in February 2021, the EAEP voices its interests mainly with political stakeholders, regional and business actors, with the ultimate aim to improve the health of Europe’s citizens and strengthen the European healthcare system. E-Pharmacies have digitalised the classical pharmacy, and therefore act at the crossroads of digitalisation, healthcare, e-commerce and sustainability. As pioneers in providing digital solutions and our innovative and secure processes in dealing with health data, offering medicinal products and digital healthcare service while complying with national and EU law, the EAEP members continuously seek for ways to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare for Europeans.