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Slovakian Health Ministry to ban reexport of medicine

Staff Writer |
Health Minister Tomáš Drucker is moving to prohibit the reverse sale of medicines by pharmaceutical distributors with changes to drug laws that should result in ban on re-exporting.

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Despite the sufficient imports of medicines, Slovak patients have in recent months complained about insufficient supplies in hospitals, The Slovak Spectator reports.

Pharmaceutical distributors are re-exporting great quantities of them abroad. With drug prices in Slovakia among the lowest in the European Union, this makes for good business.

Under the proposed changes, only producers will be able to export medicines fully or partially covered by public health insurance, so-called classified medicine. From now on, distribution companies should only be able to deliver medicines to other distribution companies if they end up in a pharmacy. The changes also affect pharmacies which will only be able to re-sell classified medicines to the registration holder.

“The ministry expects to increase availability of medicines for patients and cut-down exports of medicines to a minimum,” Health Ministry spokeswoman Stanislava Luptáková, told The Slovak Spectator.

The amendment shifts responsibility for the availability of classified medicines to the holder of the registration. Only authorised holders will have legal authority to regulate distribution until its release in pharmacy, according to Luptáková.

The ministry specified basic measures including obligation of registered suppliers to deliver a categorised medicine to a pharmacy within 24 hours after the order and pharmacies to release the medicine to the patient, a ban on suppliers purchasing medicines from pharmacies and permission for pharmacies to resale medicines only back to the suppliers from who they purchased medicines originally.

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