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The CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre team gains a significant edge in relation to dispensing medication over the internet


At the initiative of CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre and the "1001 Pharmacies" group, in a decision dated 16 March 2015, the French Council of State annulled the ministerial ruling dated 20 June 2013, relating to good practice for dispensing medication over the internet, on the grounds of excess of jurisdiction.

This annulment was based on the dual grounds that, firstly, the ruling had not been submitted for the European Commission's opinion prior to adoption, as required by directive 98/34. Secondly, the Council identified numerous provisions in the ruling which exceeded the minister's jurisdiction and are covered by the Council of State decree.

This annulment has two consequences:

In due course, the ministry will need to adopt a new ruling defining best practice, as stipulated in article R 4235-18 of the French Public Health Code, and the ministry has asked the Council of State for one year to revise all legislation relating to the sale of medication over the internet;

The immediate impact of the annulment will be to undermine the proceedings brought by the CNOP against certain pharmacists that have begun selling online, since in many cases these actions were based on the ruling which has now been annulled. This is particularly the case for the proceedings brought against "1001 Pharmacies".

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Bernard Geneste