Buying medicines online

In Slovenia, in accordance with the Medicinal Products Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, Nos. 17/14 and 66/19), online dispensing1 is only possible for medicinal products that are not subject to medical or veterinary prescription.

Medicines can only be dispensed online in pharmacies and specialized stores which have been authorized to dispense medicines online. In specialized stores (both, physical and online stores) dispensing is only allowed for medicines which are authorised and approved by JAZMP to be dispensed online as stated in the marketing authorisation for medicinal products.

In order to reduce the risk of buying substandard or falsified medicines online the Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU introduced a common logo, which must appear on legally operating online pharmacies and specialized stores which dispense medicines online. The common logo must be clearly displayed on every page of the website and must be recognizable throughout the EU. At the same time, it must also be obvious from which EU country the online pharmacy originates. An example of a logo is shown in the image below.

By clicking the logo, it is possible to access the website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia, where a list of pharmacies and specialized stores authorized to dispense medicines online are listed, together with their web addresses. The list is available here (in the section entitled Lekarne ali specializirane prodajalne z dovoljenjem za izdajanje zdravila prek medmrežja).

The common logo allows customers to verify that the website where they intend to buy a medicine is legitimate and to identify websites where the purchase of medicines is potentially unsafe. Numerous fake online pharmacies imitate the websites of legitimate online pharmacies, with the aim of convincing the customers that they legally sell high-quality medicines that come from countries with high safety standards. However, medicines offered by unauthorized websites can be harmful to health, as they may be outdated and no longer prescribed, they may be expired, diluted, or otherwise altered, they may even be falsified. Falsified medicines can be ineffective, harmful, or even fatal.

JAZMP therefore advises that you buy medicines only on the legal websites marked with the common EU logo. Do not proceed with the purchase if the online provider from which you plan to purchase the medicine is not on the list of legally operating online pharmacies or specialized stores.

Read more about the legal bases, legal online pharmacies, the common EU logo, and about the risks of buying medicines online on the website of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and on the website of the European Commission.

1 Dispensing medicines in a pharmacy means the sale is accompanied by counselling provided by an independent expert.

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