Pharmacy controversy biggest challenge of last Parliament session ({{commentsTotal}})

With small-town pharmacies up in arms over what they see as encroachment by multinational chains, regulation of the sale of medicines is shaping up to be the biggest task for the last session of the 12th Estonian Parliament, which began on Monday.

Many pharmacists shuttered their shops from 10:00 to 14:00 on Friday as a "warning strike" to protest a late December move by the Supreme Court to vacate temporary restrictions on founding new pharmacies. Parliament had passed the restrictions in a bid to buy time.

Speaker of the Parliament Eiki Nestor told "We now have a Supreme Court decision that compels the Parliament to adopt legislation in January. The debates are heated. On one hand, the criticism from dispensers is not so much leveled at the Parliament but mainly at the Supreme Court decision. Like it or not, we in Parliament must abide by it. We have to find some solution here."

The pharmacists who are critical of the Supreme Court decision say there should be protections in place similar to ones enjoyed by general medical practitioners to prevent foreign-owned pharmacies from "evicting" them.

Ülle Rebane, chairwoman of the Pharmacists Association, says she backs restrictions on ownership, like ones in other European countries - something that only the Center Party has officially supported but which, Rebane says, does have backing from other parties as well.


Editor: K. Rikken

10 years since bronze night riots
Monument of contention

In late April 2007, the Estonian authorities removed the Bronze Soldier monument from Tallinn’s Tõnismägi. The unrest that accompanied the relocation have since become known as the Bronze Night riots.

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.