An amendment to the Medicine Act drafted by the Health Ministry has been tailored to bring more money into the coffers of large pharmacies at the expense of the health of patients, according to a statement released by the Slovak Pharmacy Chamber (SLeK) on Tuesday, April 26.
SLeK claims that the bill is ambiguous in a number of areas, and is disadvantageous towards traditional pharmacies, implicitly favouring pharmacies run by 'laymen' and large retail chains. "If the bill is passed, a further monopolisation of the pharmacy business will loom large, along with cartelisation – with direct effects on the health of patients – [and] there will be a reduction of the regulatory office's influence on prices, and a direct negative effect on the state budget," said SLeK president Tibor Czulba, as quoted by the TASR newswire. SLeK also complained that the Health Ministry has drawn up the bill without discussing it with relevant experts and the pharmacists' academy.
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27. Apr 2011 at 14:00