“Medicine Authenticity will be guaranteed by an end-to-end Verification System.”


Introduction to the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS)

In order to counter the threat of falsified medicines entering the legal supply chain, the European Parliament and Council have released a Directive on Falsified Medicines (2011/62/EU) (amending Directive 2001/83/EC). It aims at improving patient safety by mandating the Marketing Authorisation Holders and manufacturers to put a system in place that is preventing falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain, the European Medicines Verification System. The European Medicines Verification System (EMVS) should guarantee Medicines authenticity by an end-to-end verification.

Upload: European Level

Manufacturers can upload the unique identifiers via the European Hub and verification of medicines will take place in the National Medicines Verification Systems. The overall technical and quality standards, such as system interoperability, data ownership and access have been agreed by the stakeholders based on mutually endorsed principles that are compatible with the FMD requirements.
Products that are in scope of the FMD are generally all prescription products with a few exceptions as specified in the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161. While non-prescription products are largely not in scope, there are a few exceptions and more may be defined per market by national competent authorities.

Point of dispense medicines verificiation
Figure 1: Point of dispense medicines verificiation

Responsibilities of the Supply Chain Partners
Figure 2: Responsibilities of the Supply Chain Partners

Point of dispense medicines verification

In essence, manufacturers will be required to print a Data Matrix code, which incorporates a unique identifier (UI) and apply an anti-tampering device on the outer packaging of all medicines for each individual sales package. At the point of dispense the medicine will be scanned, checked and verified for authenticity against a national (or supranational) repository. If the UI on the pack matches the information in the repository, the pack is decommissioned and supplied to the patient. Otherwise, if there is a warning related to this pack, then the system will highlight this as an exceptional event and the package will not be supplied to the patient. An investigation needs to determine whether the pack has been falsified or not.

System Landscape 1
Figure 3: European Medicines Verification System

System Landscape 2
Figure 4: European Medicines Verification System


“Each European country has to implement a National Medicines Verification System.”


Introduction to National Responsibilities

With reference to the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161 in its Art. 32, the European Commission states which structure the repositories system should adopt. Thus, it shall be composed of a central information and data router (the European Hub) and repositories which serve the territory of one or multiple Member States. Those repositories will all have to be connected to the EU-Hub.
Therefore, each European country (of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland) has to implement a National Medicines Verification System (NMVS) which will be set up and managed by a National Medicines Verification Organisation (NMVO).
The main purpose of the NMVS is to serve as the verification platforms that pharmacies or other registered parties – such as wholesalers, self-dispensing doctors or hospital pharmacies – will use to check the authenticity of a product.

Download: National Level “The main aims of an NMVS”

  • Holding the relevant product serialization data for the national market
  • Receiving revised/new product serialization data from the EU-Hub.
  • Serving as the verification platform for pharmacies or other registered parties such as wholesalers and hospitals to certify the authenticity of a product.
  • Serving as the platform for wholesalers in the case of member states application of Art. 23 DR, to mark a product pack as decommissioned prior to handing it over the patient
  • Serving as the platform for wholesalers to mark a product pack as “decommissioned” e.g. ‘exported out of EU’.


Established NMVOs

On-boarding partners will be technically connected to the EU Hub and have to conclude the Participation Agreements (PA) with EMVO. In addition to signing the mandatory Participation Agreement (PA), On-boarding Partners / Marketing Authorisation Holders have to conclude a contract on national level with the relevant NMVO.
The already founded NVMOs are listed below.

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus CzechRepublic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Hungary Iceland Ireland Latvia LithuaniaLuxembourg The Netherlands Norway Poland Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland UK

101 Do you have a glossary of all the abbreviations?

To get in touch with all the used abbreviations, please use the following table.

abbreviation value
AR Authorised Representative
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CER Certificate
CFO Chief Financial Officer
CIO Chief Information Officer
CMO Contract Manufacturing Organisation
CSR Certificate Signing Request
DR Delegated Regulation
EAEPC European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies
EFPIA European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations
EMVO European Medicines Verification Organisation
EMVS European Medicines Verification System
EU Hub European Hub
FMD Falsified Medicines Directive
GIRP European Healthcare Distribution Association
IQE Integrated Quality Environment
ITE Integrated Test Environment
MAH Marketing Authorisation Holder
NDA Non-Disclosure Agreement
NMVO National Medicines Verification Organisation
NMVS National Medicines Verification System
OBP On-boarding Partner
OBP Portal On-boarding Partner Portal
PA Participation Agreement
PD Parallel Distributor
PGEU Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union
PRD Production Environment
RR Registration Requester
SDK Software Development Kit
SPOC Single Point of Contact
UI Unique Identifier

The EMVO Glossary is also available in our Documents Overview.

All documents are available in our Documents Overview.