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Counterfeit Medicinal Products

According to the World Health Organization's definition, a counterfeit medicine is a medicinal product that is deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled. This means that incorrect statements are made with regard to its identity, ingredients and/or origin.

Fortunately, such counterfeit medicinal products in the legal distribution chain (pharmacy, wholesale, …) are a very rare occurrence in Germany. To date, only a few individual cases of counterfeit medicines have become known within the legal distribution chain. The responsible institutions for such issues are the supervisory authorities of the federal "Länder" and/or the Federal Criminal Police Office ("Bundeskriminalamt").

For further information please visit the website of the Bundeskriminalamt.

This phenomenon is to be distinguished from the purchase of medicinal products via illegal channels, especially if ordered on the internet. It happens again and again that illegal online mail-order pharmacies use the BfArM's logo for misleading promotional purposes on their website. The BfArM rigorously takes legal action against such misuse of its logo. Pharmacies that are officially authorised for mail-order trade are listed in the DIMDI's mail-order pharmacy registry. Registered pharmacies are permitted to display the DIMDI's security logo on their webpages. Clicking on the logo leads to further information on the pharmacy listed in the registry.

The DIMDI offers comprehensive information on pharmacies and other medicine retailers that are officially authorised for the mail order trade in the German Register of Online Medicine Retailers: Versandhandels-Register.