Common decency: online pharma vendors to get a logo

Buying medicines online wasn't so bad --
but Sparky hated hanging around
while the pharmacist made up the
This Kat has bought many items by online shopping. However, her purchases have not extended to buying medicines online, for the very good reason that it did not seem quite right.  After all, how do you know that the seller is a reputable vendor of medicinal products and not a psychopath with a grudge against cats? Anyway, she has now learnt that the Health and Consumers Directorate-General of the European Commission is endeavouring make online pharmacy shopping safe: last week it released a Consultation Paper on Implementing a Common Logo for Legally-Operating Online Pharmacies/Retailers Offering Medicinal Products for Human Use for Sale at a distance to the Public Directive 2011/62 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 (amending Directive 2001/83 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use, as regards the prevention of the entry into the legal supply chain of falsified medicinal products, published on 1 July 2011).

Directive 2011/62 introduces EU-wide rules in relation to 'the offer of medicinal products for human use for sale at a distance to the public by means of information society services' (ie the internet). In particular, it introduces the concept of a ‘common logo’ for websites of legally-operating online pharmacies/retailers (Article 85c(1)(d)(iii) of Directive 2001/83).  The idea is that the common logo must be displayed on every page of the website offering the medicinal products. There is also to be a linking system to allow customers to verify the authenticity of that common logo when it is so displayed. Member States are obliged to set up a dedicated website providing a national list of all legally-operating online pharmacies/retailers and containing a hyperlink to the website of the respective online pharmacy/retailer (Article 85c(4)); and the particular online pharmacy/retailer is obliged to include a hyperlink in the common logo to the entry of the online pharmacy/retailer in the national list (Article 85c(1)(d)(iii)).

Option A
The Health and Consumers Directorate-General needs your help on a number of issues by 17 January 2013, including
(a) the technical, electronic and cryptographic requirements for verification of the authenticity of the common logo;
(b) the design of the common logo;
(c) the National element and text associated with the common logo; and
d) the size and position of the common logo.

Option B
The published options for the common logo are both posted here.  Above, to the left, is Option A, a 'tick' motif, into which has been inserted a small green image of a cross. To the right, with a much larger white cross superimposed on a multicoloured striped rectangle, is Option B.  At the top of the sidebar on the IPKat's home page is a an opinion poll on which you can vote for the device of your preference.  Merpel says, since the outcome of the vote does not touch upon any matter of significant legal, political or economic interest, there's a good chance that the Commission might take note of it.

A KatPat to Chris Torrero for bringing this to the Kat’s attention!
Common decency: online pharma vendors to get a logo Common decency: online pharma vendors to get a logo Reviewed by Catherine Lee on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Is it too late to file a trademark application for both option A and option B?

  2. Can the IPKat certify that no kitty kats were harmed in the above blog?

  3. I feel sorry for designers of websites' layouts who will have to confront with both of these logotypes...


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