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European pharmaceutical companies declare war on counterfeiting and are preparing to launch a pilot scheme by 2008 for the introduction of a single standardized barcode for the identification of medicines circulating in Europe: a strategy which will allow the pharmacist to check every single pharmaceutical package before dispensing it to the patient. The announcement last Thursday, in Paris, during the work of the association's annual assembly which called for the adoption of rigorous measures to counter the growing illegality in the sector, documented - according to a very recent report by the EU Commission (May 2008) – from the identification of 4.81 million counterfeit pharmaceutical packages circulating in the Union during 2007. In the promised proposal for a directive expected by the end of the year (see «Il Sole 24 Ore Sanità» n. 12/2007 ) within the of a broader regulatory package relating to the sector, the companies in the sector are asking in particular for a tightening on the rules relating to repackaging. In the appeal launched by Paris, Efpia requests in order: Œ the explicit introduction of a ban on the manipulation of original pharmaceutical packaging throughout the supply chain, from leaving the factory to delivery into the hands of the patient; the certain definition of the degree of responsibility of all the players in the distribution chain including brokers, importers and agents; Z the introduction of heavy penalties for those involved in the activity of counterfeiting medicines ("they should be at least equal to those envisaged for the protagonists of drug trafficking", says the press release verbatim); the implementation of an intense information-education activity aimed at consumers, above all in relation to the need to purchase medicines exclusively at legal points of sale, given that online pharmacies are the main sources of diffusion of "false" treatments. Il Sole 24 Ore Sanita' of 26/06/2008, article by Sara Todaro N. 25 24-30 JUNE 2008 p. 14  

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco