On February 9 marks the third anniversary of a medicines verification system across Europe, including Latvia, that ensures patient safety by detecting falsified medicines in the legal supply chain.
This unique international system connects 2.500 pharmaceutical companies, 4.000 wholesalers, 100.000 pharmacies and 6.000 hospital pharmacies in 29 European countries. In Latvia, 1.180 end-users are connected to the verification system – pharmacies, healthcare institutions and wholesalers.
"First of all, I would like to congratulate all partners, involved in the medicines verification system on this anniversary and say a big thank for the successful cooperation," says Inese Erdmane, Chairwoman of the Board of the Latvian Medicines Verification Organization (LZVO). "We introduced the verification system in Latvia without a transition period. The start of the system was challenging, but it has paid off – now the system works stably, all relevant end users are connected to it, they all verify medicines before it reaches patients. System checks tens of millions of packages of medicines a year, and this is a significant contribution to Latvian people’s health and safety.”
The main priority of LZVO in 2022 will be the maintenance and further development of the medicines verification system. Among the most significant tasks in this area are related to the purchase, installation, and qualification of the national Alert Management System (AMS), connection of it to the European central AMS, as well as connection of end users to the AMS and their training.
The verification system has been in operation in 29 European countries since 9 February 2019 and is designed to guarantee the safety of prescription medicines for patients. The basic principle of the system is that manufacturers provide each package of medicines with a unique code, which is verified several times on the way to the consumer and finally decommissioned when handing over or using the medicine to the patient in a pharmacy or medical institution. Information on all codes is stored in the European medicines verification system. In case the system does not recognize the unique code during the test, an alert is generated, which is received and investigated by the Health Inspectorate.
The establishment of the medicines verification system is stipulated by the EU Falsified Medicinal Products Directive (2011/62/EU) and a delegated regulation stipulating detailed rules on the safety features of medicinal products for human use (EU 2016/161).