The Council of Europe has been long concerned with the supply conditions for medicines for human use and the harmonisation of national legislation in this field.

The availability of medicines with or without a medical prescription has implications on patient safety, accessibility of medicines to patients and responsible management of health care expenditure.

The decision on prescription status and related supply conditions is a core competency of national health authorities. The conditions of the supply of medicines vary considerably in Council of Europe member States, due to the fact that the provisions are differently interpreted and implemented by the member States, and that important additional classification criteria are not harmonised.

In continuing with the programme of activities carried out under the aegis of the former Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health field, the Committee of Experts on the Classification of Medicines as Regards their Supply (CD-P-PH/PHO) reviews the national legal supply status of medicinal products for human use  and issues recommendations on the classification of medicines and their supply conditions to health authorities of the Council of Europe member States parties to the Ph. Eur. Convention. 


Resolution CM/Res(2018)1 on the classification of medicines as regards their supply (superseding Resolution ResAP(2007)1 on the classification of medicines as regards their supply) (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 April 2018)

Online Access

If you wish to know the classification of a medicine in a particular country or the CD-P-PH/PHO’s recommendation on the prescription status and related supply conditions of a medicine, you can do so via the

Melclass database

Additional information

Past events

20-21 November 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

OTC Medicines: the role of good classification practices in promoting medication safety and accessibility in Europe