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EAEP proposes ad-hoc measures to halt growing sale of counterfeits online

Brussels, 1 March 2022 – The European Association of E-Pharmacies (EAEP) has put forward key proposals to address the sale of counterfeit goods online, as part of its feedback to the ongoing public consultation of the European Commission on an EU toolbox against counterfeiting. 

The growing spread of counterfeit and falsified medicines, especially online, constitutes a worrying trend for online pharmacies. Not only does counterfeiting pose a serious threat to public health, it also contributes to creating a misleading perception of e-pharmacies. The EAEP, which represents Europe’s leading online pharmacies, believes that ad-hoc measures, aimed at effectively tackling this domain and fostering trust in the digital environment, are more than ever vital.

While we strongly believe that e-pharmacies have demonstrated their contribution to the continuous safe and secure supply of medications, especially during the pandemic, we share the European Commission’s assessment that counterfeiting is still thriving and counterfeiters are quickly adapting their fraud schemes and the way they operate to changing circumstances.

Therefore, the EAEP calls on the European Commission to develop a sound and future-proof legislative framework, by means of the recently announced EU toolbox against counterfeiting. The latter should encompass: (1) clear rules on EU e-commerce – building on an extended Know Your Business Customer (KYBC) obligation, in which the well-functioning, trustworthy online web shops and platforms like e-pharmacies are set apart from those with bad intentions; (2) information campaigns, both at the EU and Member State level, aimed at the general public on the dangers of both counterfeit medicines and falsified medicines; (3) awareness-raising campaigns on the existence of the EU Common Logo and measures tackling Domain Name Systems abuse; and (4) stakeholder dialogue involving all players that can directly or indirectly prevent counterfeits, especially medicines, from being sold online.

The EAEP is and remains committed, together with other stakeholders, to combating counterfeit drugs. Therefore, we have previously also committed ourselves to a broader call to come up with measures to tackle the sale of illegal products online.

If you would like to find out more about our positions, 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.