Online sale of drugs now possible


Aurélia Marie

France has implemented EU Directive 2011/62/UE June 8, 2011 relating to medicinal products for human use, by enacting an ordinance of December 19, 2012 and a Decree No. 2012-1562 of December 31, 2012.

As a result, from January 2, 2013, owners of a pharmacy can make retail sales online of certain medicinal drugs. Prescription drugs, veterinary drugs and any medication not freely accessible to the consumer remain excluded.

Electronic commerce in medicines is strictly regulated and the creation of a website for selling medicinal drugs is conditional on the physical existence of a pharmacy (Articles L 5125-34 to L 5125-41 of the French Public Health Code). The pharmacist must also obtain permission from the Regional Health Agency and inform the Order of Pharmacists of his intent to sell online.

The website itself must have certain minimum information on each page (contact details of the National Security Agency for Medicines and Health Products, a link to the website of the National Order of Pharmacists and the Ministry of Health, a common logo to be introduced at Community level but which is still to be created).