The European Parliament has approved measures which should help streamline orders and supply of prescription drugs to pharmacies.
The plans, which will see changes to medicine packaging, will go some way towards cracking down on counterfeit drugs.
As part of the move, drug packets could be given electronic serialisation numbers, which would allow pharmacies to check the drug’s authenticity.
The plans, rubber-stamped by MEPs this week, will also widen European regulation over online medicine sales. Plans are in place to give European internet pharmacies a common, recognisable logo.
The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has called for the changes to be brought into force “in an efficient and non-bureaucratic way.”
Raj Patel, NPA board member and head of the UK delegation to the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU), added: “This is one of the most significant European directives for community pharmacy that we have ever seen and its impact will be felt by pharmacists working across the EU.”