In response to the alarming increase in sub-standard or counterfeit medications, the European Union adopted the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) or regulation (EU) 2016/161 on October 2, 2015, which was subsequently published on February 9, 2016.
Understanding the FMD is not an easy task, but this law will become increasingly important throughout the healthcare industry in the coming year.
This legislation states that, by February, 9, 2019, European hospitals and retail pharmacies will be required to decommission prescription medications using their unique identifier before distributing them to patients.
The road to compliance is short and difficult to navigate. As a leading provider of traceability systems since 1989, OPTEL can act as a trustworthy partner, supporting pharmacists with guidance as well as effective ready-to-use solutions to help you achieve compliance and much more.
We invite you to browse this section regularly to stay informed regarding the most to date information pertaining to the EU FMD.
To implement the EU FMD, data will be exchanged between the European Medication Verification System (EMVS), also known as the European Hub, and the National Medication Verification Systems (NMVS), developed by each individual country within the European Union. The EMVS will receive a Unique Identifier (UI) number from the manufacturer for each prescription medicine to be sold in Europe and act as a “router” to distribute them to the proper NMVS.
Each country’s NMVS database will contain the UIs of all medication currently active in that given country. The unique identifier consists of the medication’s batch number, expiry date, product code, serial number and national reimbursement identification if it is required by an individual country. It is important to note that if the reimbursement identification number is contained in the product code, this information does not have to be repeated within the unique identifier. Building upon Directive 2011/62/EU, prescription medication is also required to have a tamper-evident seal, which, if altered, must not be dispensed to the patient.
As of February 9, 2019, pharmaceutical manufacturers will be required to upload their prescription medication’s unique identifiers to the EU HUB (EMVS), where they will then be activated. The medication then leaves the manufacturer and moves through the supply chain, including potential distributors, if applicable, before arriving to hospital and retail pharmacies. Once in the possession of the pharmacy, the medication must be decommissioned by its unique identifier. The verification process can take place at any point throughout the healthcare supply chain; however, decommissioning must be performed before the medication is administered to the patient.
The FMD, formally titled Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161 and published in the Official Journal of the European Union, is a complex document. This is why OPTEL has invested time in understanding the legislation to ensure that the compliance process can be simplified and less stressful for pharmacists.