As of February 2019, a new European Medicines Verification System is in place with harmonized safety and control measures to prevent falsified medicines from reaching patients.
New safety features for prescription medicines will enable an end-to-end verification system to prevent falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain. The new safety features will be mandatory in the EU Member States1, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Under the European Medicines Verification System, the authenticity of medicines will be guaranteed by a so-called Data Matrix Code that incorporates an unique identifier (UI) and an anti-tampering device.
At different stages in the distribution chain, e.g. when the medicine packages reach the pharmacies, the packages will be scanned, checked and verified for authenticity. If there is an alert, the package will not be supplied and there will be an investigation to determine whether the medicine has been falsified.
As the shelf life of each product varies, it will take 3-5 years until all packages have the new safety features. Therefore, you should not be worried if your current medicine does not have the new code.