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EC reviews exports ban

SLOVAKIA might face sanctions for passing a law that bans pharmaceutical distributors from exporting medicines abroad, if the inspection of the European Commission confirms that it is not compatible with the principle of the free movement of goods, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported in its April 1 issue.

SLOVAKIA might face sanctions for passing a law that bans pharmaceutical distributors from exporting medicines abroad, if the inspection of the European Commission confirms that it is not compatible with the principle of the free movement of goods, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported in its April 1 issue.

The Health Ministry however says that the measures, passed last January to prevent exporting mass quantities of cheap drugs abroad, are adequate and in compliance with EU laws. According to ministry spokeswoman Martina Lidinská, they adopted the new measures to prevent “the threat to the life and health of the citizens”, which could be caused by shortages of certain drugs, as reported by Hospodárske Noviny.

Former health minister Ivan Uhliarik however believes the law is not the best solution.
“The problem of re-exporting could have been resolved by banning the resale of drugs from pharmacies to distributors,” he said, as quoted by Hospodárske Noviny.

The drugs are often exported after the pharmacies sell them to distributors with high surcharges, ending up in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, the daily wrote.

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