To date, 1,238 users have connected to the medicines verification system in Latvia – pharmacies, hospitals, health centres, doctor's practices and other medical institutions, as well as wholesalers and dental institutions and practices. In May, three new users joined the system. The connection to the system continues steadily with low intensity.
Manufacturers constantly upload information about new products (medicines), their batches and packaging to the system. Users regularly check and delete packages from the verification system. Every week, an average of 350 thousand packages is deleted from the Latvian medicines verification system. The performance and operation of the system are stable.
In the first five months of 2020:
- 4485 products have been uploaded to the system;
- 17,465 product batches are available in the system;
- almost 8 million packages have been deleted from the system.
As specified by the system requirements, the Latvian medicines verification system continues to generate alerts, which account for only 0.1% of the total number of verified medicine packages, or the alarm is caused by only one transaction per 1000. The Latvian Medicines Verification Organization has no reports of potential cases of falsification.
The medicines verification system aims to prevent counterfeit medicines from reaching consumers and has been in operation since 9 February 2019. The system has been implemented in more than 30 European countries, and its basic principle is that each medicine packaging is marked with a unique code during the manufacturing process, and this code is checked just before the medicine is sold in a pharmacy or used in a medical institution. The system covers prescription medicines and one over-the-counter medicine, omeprazole.
In Latvia, the system is implemented by the Latvian Medicines Verification Organization, and the state institutions involved are the Ministry of Health, the State Agency of Medicines and the Health Inspectorate.
The basis for the establishment of the verification system is the EU Falsified Medicines Directive (2011/62/EU) and the delegated regulation which defines detailed rules for the safety features appearing on the packaging of medicinal products for human use (EU 2016/161).