EU legislation to combat an increasingly significant problem
The most commonly used definition for Falsified Medicines, describes them as deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled medicines with respect to identity and/or source. Falsified medicines do not meet the legal prerequisite quality or safety standards, and subsequently put at risk the health of millions of patients who take for granted safe and effective prescription drugs.
Pharmaceutical falsification of medicines is a lucrative and sophisticated business, and it is gradually becoming a significant global problem. The success of the business can be attributed to increased commercial use of the internet. Rogue internet drug websites are the most frequent way that people purchase falsified drugs. These websites bypass the regulatory safeguards that store-based pharmacies must follow, for example the need for a prescription. These websites also appeal to the customers as they offer cheaper medications, and there is also a sense of anonymity when making a purchase online.