This is a very topical issue in both developing and industrialised countries, where commercial sites on the internet are increasingly used to buy consumer goods, including medicines – notably those not reimbursed by health insurance, and countless others issued without a prescription. The argument developed for leaving this responsibility to the patient alone is an acknowledgement that the whole distribution channel is corrupted, including the pharmacist and doctor, not to mention wholesalers or local manufacturers. Owing to this, we admit that having reliable intermediaries in such a crucial field as health is not possible and we “make do”. Roland Meylan, co-founder of AlpVision, expands further in this article.
In 2001 the EU launched a first directive in order to harmonise and regulate the European Medicines Supply Chain. However, that directive (2001/83/EC), which has now been in effect for several years through legislation of the European member states, has turned out to be too weak to efficiently safeguard European citizens. Dr Marietta Ulrich-Horn PhD, Cofounder and Manager of Securikett, provides a detailed insight into globally growing problems with counterfeited, diverted, falsified and expired drugs that have entered the European scene.