buyer beware

This logo could protect you from buying dangerous fake meds online

A new EU logo will be shown on all legally-operating pharmacies and retailers.


PEOPLE BUYING MEDICINES online have been warned not to purchase from websites that don’t display the new EU logo.

To tackle the sale of fake medicines online, a new EU logo will be shown on all legally-operating pharmacies and retailers established in the EU.

In Ireland, pharmacies and retailers are allowed supply of non-prescription medicines on the internet.

Public health 

The supply of prescription medicines continues to remain prohibited in Ireland on grounds of public health protection.

Kathleen Lynch, Minister for Primary Care and Social Care urged members of the public to click the logo to ensure that the website is registered on one of the national lists of legally-operating pharmacies/retailers.

This will ensure that the non-prescription medicines you purchase are safe and effective, she said.

Introducing the logo, Minister Lynch said:

Falsified (fake) medicines are a significant health risk to patients. 10.1 million counterfeit and illicit pills were confiscated in 10 days in June 2013.50% of the medicine sold by unregulated online retailers is estimated by the World Health Organisation to be unreliable and potentially harmful.

Lynch added that often fake medicine doesn’t contain the active ingredient that is needed to make the medicine work, or it contains the wrong dose. The substances that are used to bulk up the medicine can also be harmful.


In Ireland, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland is the body responsible for maintaining the list of Irish registered retailers.

However Irish consumers may also purchase non-prescription medicines from a website registered in another EU member state.

“The important thing is to check that the pharmacy/retailer is registered in the member state in question before making a purchase,” said Lynch.

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