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EFPIA aims to stop the resale of stolen and counterfeit drugs in the legitimate supply chain

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) have recently announced how they’re implementing a pan-European medicines verification system with all supply chain stakeholders in Europe, preventing the resale of stolen and counterfeit drugs in the legitimate supply chain.

It follows from an on-going investigation by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) who found a report from Transcrime (Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime, Milan University), published this year, which revealed one out of ten Italian hospitals registered thefts of pharmaceuticals between 2006 and 2013.

By setting up the European Stakeholder Model (ESM), the EFPIA aim to address and close the loopholes in traceability systems across jurisdictions which currently make it possible for stolen medicines to re-enter the legal trade in other EU countries through fictitious or corrupt brokers. By introducing this pan-European verification system, serial numbers corresponding to each packaging will be recorded, which means even if the delivery is repackaged, a link between the originators’ serial numbers and the traders’ serial numbers at batch level will be secured in the system. This link will prevent any re-introduction of stolen medicines on any EU markets.

Richard Bergström, Director General EFPIA, stated: “The European Stakeholder Model is proof that, by joining together, we can best protect patients and their security in Europe. By joining the European Stakeholder Model all supply chain partners have shown their commitment to maintain the integrity of the legitimate supply chain in Europe.”

EFPIA is also engaged in with other stakeholders in various initiatives in order to strengthen the integrity of the legitimate supply chain and make it safer to buy medicines online.