News and Events

Falsified Medicine Directive aiding pharmacy management

31st March 2021
  • New IMVO survey shows one in four pharmacies say FMD software is making a difference
  • Assisting with expiry date tracking among other reports
  • IMVO has launched a new website to support pharmacists and other system users

Medicines scanning under the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) is making a positive difference to pharmacy management, according to a recent survey by the Irish Medicines Verification Organisation (IMVO). One in four pharmacists surveyed say their FMD software is providing additional data that is helping with the running of their pharmacy.  According to Leonie Clarke, General Manager IMVO, this reflects a growing  realisation across the EU that the implementation of FMD can support better pharmacy and patient management along with ensuring patient safety by preventing falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain. IMVO has recently launched a new website ( to provide additional guidance and support on FMD.

“We know from our engagement that pharmacists, hospitals, wholesalers and marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) have worked hard to meet their FMD obligations. What was encouraging to see from our survey was the wider benefits that a significant number are already experiencing, for example with expiry date tracking. We would be hopeful that the comprehensive range of guidance available on our new website will support more pharmacists in ensuring smooth and efficient scanning so the added-value from FMD software could be of benefit to many more,” added Ms Clarke.

The new website is part of an expanded range of supports that IMVO, the non-profit organisation managing the national medicines verification system for Ireland,  is introducing over the coming months to help pharmacies and other users of the system become comfortable with scanning and managing alerts. These include a series of webinars and full details of these will be available shortly on the IMVO website.

“We recognised the enormous pressures that pharmacists have been under over the past year by extending the ‘Use and Learn’ phase beyond its original deadline. Now, with the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, like everyone, we would be hopeful that society and business life will start to return to normal across the second half of the year. While a date for ending ‘Use and Learn’ has not been finalised, we will provide ample notice. In the meantime, we would encourage any pharmacist, hospital, wholesaler or MAH who may require additional support or guidance on the implementation of the FMD or want to find out about our upcoming webinars to visit our website,” Ms Clarke added.


For Further Information:

Weber Shandwick PR (01) 679 8600

Ger McCarthy               (086) 2333590

Notes to Editors

IMVO is a not-for-profit organisation established by the key stakeholders across the medicines supply chain in Ireland to manage the national medicines verification system for Ireland:

  • Association of Pharmaceutical Parallel Distributors ( which represents active parallel importers in Ireland.
  • Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association ( which represents the international research-based pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.
  • Irish Pharmacy Union ( which is the representative and professional body for community pharmacists in Ireland.
  • Medicines for Ireland ( which represents Irish-based manufacturers and suppliers of generic OTC, biosimilars and hybrid medicines.
  • Pharmaceutical Distributors Federation Ireland which represents full-line pharmaceutical wholesalers.

The Falsified Medicines Directive (Directive 2011/161/EU) introduced several measures to protect European patients from the threat of falsified medicines, including mandatory safety features on medicine packs that enable their authenticity to be verified by wholesalers, pharmacies and hospitals. These safety features take the form of a barcode containing data unique to the product and an anti-tamper device.

IMVO is part of a European-wide network of national medicines verification organisations, all operating national databases connected via an EU Hub managed by the European Medicines Verification Organisation. This advanced and robust verification system holds information about prescription medicines legitimately manufactured and supplied across Europe.