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Remote and online provision of medicines: EDQM targeted stakeholder consultation

From 13 March to 26 May 2023, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) is undertaking a targeted consultation to seek the opinions of interested parties on a draft Council of Europe recommendation on best practices for the remote and online provision of medicines. The consultation targets international organisations active in public health and digital healthcare processes, competent authorities of member states, healthcare professionals, patients, the pharmaceutical industry and relevant associations.

The draft recommendation addresses all aspects of the use of medicines that might be impacted by the remote process – starting with the need, or identification of a need, for a medicine, up to the actual reception of the medicine by the patient and follow-up measures. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this work even more relevant, given that social distancing measures imposed a variety of remote processes.

Access to medicines involves wider healthcare issues which include increased digitalisation of processes and a diversity of competent authorities responsible for matters such as the quality of healthcare services, prescribing and dispensing. The main goal of the draft recommendation on best practices for remote and online provision of medicines is to provide guidance on minimum requirements to be fulfilled by stakeholders involved in the medication process to allow safe and equal access to medicines at a distance, but also to raise awareness of existing issues that may require action (for example, cross-border aspects, co-operation and monitoring).

This consultation is a valuable opportunity for stakeholders to express their views and inform the process, thus allowing the EDQM to finalise the draft recommendation in the most relevant manner possible.

For any enquiries related to the consultation process or the draft recommendation, please contact [email protected].