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Parliamentary questions
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13 December 2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-006414/2017

The Commission is aware of the annual Pangea operation coordinated by Interpol and involving the European Heads of Medicines Agencies’ Working Group of Enforcement Officers. The Commission does not have access to the findings of the investigation but receives information on the incidents of fake medicines sent by the EU competent authorities through the EU rapid alert on quality defects on medicinal products.

The Commission strongly supports the Pangea initiative which has the potential to discourage the falsification of medicines. Member States are responsible for verifying that the requirements of the pharmaceutical law are fulfilled by the online and brick and mortar pharmacies to prevent the entry of falsified medicines. Since 2015, all online pharmacies or retailers legally operating in the EU are required to display a common logo which helps citizens to identify websites which are operating legally(1). The Commission also developed a tool kit to support Member States in their national information campaigns on the logo.

In addition, the Commission is currently setting up a verification and traceability system for medicines which will apply as of February 2019(2). In 2018, the Commission will also issue a report to the European Parliament and the Council which may help the Member States to identify best practices and suitable penalties (fines, criminal penalties, and administrative fines) to discourage the falsification of medicines.

Finally, the recent Communication on tackling illegal content(3) lays down guidelines for online platforms to step up the fight against illegal content online in cooperation with national authorities, Member States and other stakeholders.


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