Important news about the Falsified Medicines Directive
The Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) was discussed in the April 2018 edition of Ashtons Pharmacy News. This legislation will take effect from February 2019 and from this date most prescription medicines will incorporate additional security features including:
- Tamper-evident seal
- Unique identifier which will be a two-dimensional (2-D) barcode or QR code
Each individual pack of medicine can be identified, tracked and traced from the manufacturer through the supply chain until it reaches the patient. Medication can be validated using a 2-D barcode scanner which will access a central database to verify that the product is genuine.
Each individual pack of medicine can be identified, tracked and traced from the manufacturer through the supply chain until it reaches the patient
These security measures will reduce the risk of counterfeit medicines from reaching patients, providing they are obtained from licensed suppliers such as Ashtons.
Hospitals will be required to validate and decommission stock prescription medication received with the security features from February 2019. Decommissioning means that the medication will be scanned using a 2-D barcode and the individual pack will be removed from general circulation.
Full details of how this decommissioning will work in practice for independent hospitals haven’t been made available, but it will be the responsibility of healthcare providers to comply with the legislation.
Hospices and prisons have been exempted from having to comply with decommissioning medicines, but most healthcare providers will need to take appropriate steps to implement this requirement.