Community pharmacies

What are my FMD obligations as a community pharmacy?

Community pharmacies are obliged to verify the authenticity of medicines with safety features and decommission them at the point of dispensing.  This is done by checking that the anti-tamper device on the pack is intact and by scanning the 2D barcode on the pack and ‘decommissioning’ the pack via an Internet connection to the Irish Medicines Verification System. There are a number of steps to be completed in order to be able to scan barcodes and check them against the data held in the IMVS:

  1. Identify where exactly scanning will take place, including how many scanners you will need, and what computers/devices need to be connected;
  2. Identify what software solution you will use to connect to the IMVS. A list of the IT software providers whose FMD solutions have been certified by IMVO is available on the FMD Software Providers section of our website.  The IPU has prepared a report for its members on systems that were tested in community pharmacies during the IMVO pilot and this is available from the IPU;
  3. Source scanner(s) to read barcodes. Your IT software provider will be able to advise you on models that will work correctly with their solution;
  4. Consider how you will incorporate scanning into your work practices in the pharmacy;
  5. Inform your team about what’s happening and training relevant staff;
  6. Consider how anti-tamper device checks will be managed;
  7. Get connected to the IMVS – click here for more details.

Getting connected to the IMVS

You can find more information about getting connected to the IMVS here.

Alert investigation

When you scan the 2D barcode, an alert will be generated if the data in the barcode or the pack status (‘active’/’decommissioned’) doesn’t match what’s in the IMVS. Please follow the link to the guidance help pages contained within the alert message to investigate this alert.

IMVO may contact you from time to time for additional information on alerts generated in your pharmacy. If you have any queries about alerts for IMVO, please email or phone us on +353-1-5715320.


Scanning guidance

How to scan correctly   – This short video demonstrates how to scan FMD packs and provides useful tips for scanning.

Check your scanner – Use the ‘IMVO Check your scanner’  guidance to test if your scanner is set up correctly. As part of checking your scanner you will need to determine which mode your scanner is in. The ‘Check your scanner’ guidance will tell you how to do this. 

If you identify problems with your scanner after carrying out those tests, then proceed to the relevant ‘IMVO Fix your scanner’ guidance for your scanner make and mode. These documents should help you fix any problems with your scanner and set it up correctly.

Fix your scanner – If you identify problems with your scanner after checking it, then you need to ‘fix’ them.  This is done by scanning a series of barcodes that will set your scanner to the correct configuration:

  1. The instructions for fixing the scanner depend on what make it is and the mode it is set up in (keyboard wedge or serial mode. Look at the scanner to see what make it is. See IMVO ‘Check Your Scanner’ for details of how to find out what mode it is in.
  2. IMVO has drawn up guidance on how to fix Datalogic and Honeywell scanners as these are the most commonly used FMD scanners in Ireland.
  3. If you have a Datalogic or Honeywell scanner, follow the instructions in the relevant ‘Fix Your Scanner’ guidance below. There are 4 different versions so use the one that corresponds to your scanner’s make and mode.
  4. If you are using any other make of scanner, your FMD software provider may be able to advise you on how to reconfigure it. Please also inform IMVO (Contact us) so that we can update our scanner guidance.
  5. If you’re unsure what to do next, please contact us at, including the make of your scanner in your email.

Datalogic Scanners

Honeywell Scanners

Guide to IMVS alerts and next steps

Information to follow

IMVO webinars for pharmacies & hospitals

For information on any upcoming webinars visit the News and Events page

PSI guidance

The PSI has a section on falsified medicines on its website with information for pharmacists.

IPU guidance

The Irish Pharmacy Union which represents community pharmacy and is a member of IMVO has drawn up a Medicines Authentication FAQ and Checklist to help its members understand the new requirements.

Pharmacy with wholesaler’s authorisation

Some pharmacies have been granted wholesaler’s authorisations by the HPRA as they carry out distribution activities. If you are one of these pharmacies, please note that you will have to register with IMVO as a pharmacy and as a wholesaler (i.e. two registrations and two separate accounts in the IMVS). Scanning transactions as a wholesaler must be carried out using your wholesaler account in the IMVS, not the pharmacy account (and vice versa).

Where to get support

Click here to find support information.

Useful Information

Click here to find useful information.