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Parliamentary questions
26 July 2018
E-002879/2018
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission introduced stricter rules for online sales of medicines in 2011(1) to address the increasing concerns of falsified medicines sold to consumers in the EU via the Internet. These include a common EU logo for online pharmacies, and the requirement for online pharmacies to obtain an authorisation to supply medicines at a distance and notify the Member State authorities where they are established of their intention to sell medicines online. At the same time, Member States are allowed to maintain prohibitions of online sales of prescription medicines in order to safeguard public health.

The Commission and the Member States have worked together in recent years to enable healthcare providers to exchange patient data (ePrescriptions and patient summaries) across borders by setting up an eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI). Thanks to this infrastructure, 22 Member States will eventually exchange patient data by 2020.

With the recently adopted Communication(2) on enabling the digital transformation of health and care, the Commission commits to further support this infrastructure, and to expand the exchange of data to cover full electronic health records. This will give healthcare providers and patients cross-border access to medical data and increase interoperability between health systems at larger scale.

In addition, the cross-border healthcare Directive(3) includes the recognition of medical prescriptions issued in a Member State other than the Member State where the prescriptions are dispensed.

(1)Directive 2011/62/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 8 June 2011 amending Directive 2001/83/EC on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use, as regards the prevention of the entry into the legal supply chain of falsified medicinal products (OJ L 174, 1.7.2011, p. 74).
(2)COM(2018) 233.
(3)Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare (OJ L 88, 4.4.2011, p. 45).

Last updated: 7 August 2018Legal notice