To guarantee the safety and authenticity of medicines to patients, in the first half of 2021, 12 million packages of medicines were verified in the system and reached consumers in Latvia, according to the Latvian Medicines Verification Organization (LZVO) data. The increase is of 2.3 million packages compared with last year's data.
In total, 37 million transactions were performed by the Latvian medication verification system in the 1st half of 2021 – in average of 1.4 million transactions per week. At the end of June there were 1211 end-users connected to the Latvian medicines verification system: pharmacies (community and hospital pharmacies), licensed pharmaceutical wholesalers, and healthcare institutions (hospitals, polyclinics, doctors' practices, dental clinics, and practices) who performed verification of medicines.
There are mainly two types of transactions supported by the system – verification of packages (performed by manufacturers, wholesalers, as well as selectively done by pharmacies and healthcare institutions) and decommissioning of packages from the system (performed by pharmacies and healthcare institutions just before selling the medication or using it for the patient).
In case the system identifies discrepancies in the database and/or in the unique identifier printed on the package, an alert is generated by the system and sent to the Health Inspection for investigation. "The number of technical alerts since the system's launch has significantly decreased, and Latvian end-users receive only one alert in average within a period of 20 days, translating to 0.05 alerts per day. This number of alerts indicates about stable operation of the system, and the Health Inspectorate, LZVO, users, and manufacturers can track and analyze these alerts," explains Inese Erdmane, Chairwoman of the Board at LZVO.
The verification system has been in operation in more than 30 European countries since the 9th of 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 medication 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 of all codes is stored in the European medicines verification system. In cases where 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).
Chairwoman of the Board of LZVO