About the ABPI

The ABPI exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines. We represent companies of all sizes who invest in discovering the medicines of the future. 

Our members supply cutting edge treatments that improve and save the lives of millions of people. We work in partnership with Government and the NHS so patients can get new treatments faster and the NHS can plan how much it spends on medicines. Every day, we partner with organisations in the life sciences community and beyond to transform lives across the UK.

Notes for editors

Last year the MHRA seized a haul of more than 1 million doses of fake medicines and medical devices worth in excess of £2 million in one week alone, as part Interpol’s globally coordinated Operation Pangea.

How the new FMD system works:

  1. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and parallel importers will now serialise the packaging of their prescription medicines with a Unique Identifier (imbedded in a two-dimensional data-matrix), as well as sealing the packaging with a tamper verification feature. The Unique Identifiers are then uploaded by the manufacturer to the European Hub (the EMVS).
  2. Using specifically designed software, wholesalers and other stakeholders in the supply chain will scan the data matrix on the outer packaging of the pack to verify its authenticity as it travels through the supply chain. The verification of the Unique Identifier and authentication happens in the National Medicines Verification System (NMVS).The European Hub connects the national systems in order to make them interoperable. It’s also through a secure connection with the European Hub that medicine manufacturers upload the data of the medicinal products.
  3. Before dispensing the medicines to a patient, the unique identifier will be decommissioned from the EMVS by the pharmacist, hospital pharmacist or, in some special cases, the wholesaler. This provides a final safety measure to ensure the end point verification of the medicines’ authenticity.

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