Twenty-five pharmacies in Estonia close as pharmacy reforms take effect
A total of 25 pharmacies across Estonia have closed as a result of the pharmacy reform which took effect on Wednesday, Baltic News Service reports. None of the closures have happened in towns with no other pharmacy working.
Seven of the pharmacies are in Tallinn, and five in Tartu – mostly Südameapteek outlets.
The breakdown of closed pharmacies is as follows:
- Jõe Apteek, Vilde tee.
- Kalamaja Apteek, Paldiski Mnt.
- Koduapteek, Õismae tee.
- Netiapteek, Sadama tänav.
- Südameapteek at Nõmme Health Center.
- Poordi Apteek, Poordi tänav.
- Suur-Parnu Apteek, Narva Mnt.
- Raatuse Apteek.
- Ringtee Selver Südameapteek at the University of Tartu Hospital.
- Tasku Apteek.
- Two Südameapteek branches in Tartu city center and on Tartu ringtee.
- Pärnu Linnaapteek.
- Ülejõe Apteek.
- Südameapteek at the Iidla shopping center.
- Kohtla-Järve Apteek on Keskallee.
Maardu, Harju County
- Aia Apteek.
Narva, Ida-Viru County
- Kreenholmi Apteek.
- Tervisekeskuse Südameapteek.
Rakvere, Lääne County
- Kondivalu Apteek.
- Virumaa Apteek.
- Viru Apteek.
- Tapa Apteek.
- Tapa Sudameapteek.
- Viljandi Vana Apteek.
Additionally Valga Hospital's pharmacy is temporarily closed while its owners carry out the necessary administrative work needed to comply with the reforms.
Four hundred and sixty-eight pharmacist-owned pharmacies will continue to work in Estonia after the pharmacy reform which puts to bed five years of waiting, opposition and criticism. The reforms were required under the Medicinal Products Act, and faced several challenges at the Riigikogu late in 2019 and early this year via bills, all of which were voted down.
Critics said the reforms, which require a minimum 51 percent ownership of pharmacies by the dispensing pharmacists who work there, would lead to mass closures particularly in smaller population centers, but in the event this has not happened.
Pharmacies remain working through the coronavirus pandemic, including those in shopping malls, the latter being mostly closed for business.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte