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A new law to prevent fake drugs from entering the supply chain has been approved by the European Parliament, covering internet sales and introducing new safety and traceability measures, as well as sanctions against counterfeiters.

The directive, which has been in the works for over two years and now needs to be ratified by the Council of Ministers, is designed to tackle the estimated 1% of medicinal products currently sold to the European public through the legal supply chain that are fake. Marisa Matias, a Portuguese MEP and the parliamentary rapporteur, said that "falsified medicines are silent killers" and "the absence of a legal framework encourages counterfeiting, an organised crime". She noted that "we have been witnessing a huge growth of this criminal activity, with an increase of 400% in seizures of fake drugs since 2005". 

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