The Ministry of Social Affairs has drawn up an amendment to a regulation concerning the wholesale of pharmaceutical drugs that would introduce an obligation on major drug wholesalers to inform the State Agency of Medicines about their current stocks of drugs in Estonia on a weekly basis.
This change is necessary to prevent the emergence of problems with supply and alleviate their impact on patients, the ministry said.
"As many countries remain in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the danger of a new outbreak persists, demand for drugs may increase unexpectedly and deliveries be hindered due to irregularities in transit corridors or logistics," Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) said. "Hence frequent enough exchanges of information about the inventories of pharmaceuticals in Estonia are very important to enable intervention by the state if necessary."
During the emergency situation in Estonia, major drug wholesalers were obliged to file a report on their current stocks each business day. The planned amendment would make it mandatory for wholesalers with a substantive market share to report once per week, rather than once per quarter as required under current regulations.
The obligation would apply to wholesale distribution authorization holders whose turnover in the previous year made up at least 10 percent of the volume of the market for human medicines according to statistics by the State Agency of Medicines. This criterion means that the bulk of the market for human medicines would be covered by the measure.
"A constant overview of current stocks of drugs allowed us during the emergency situation to prevent the occurrence of supply problems when it comes to several medicines, and proved a necessary tool for the State agency of Medicines for ensuring the availability of medicines," Kiik said.
Being informed about current stocks on a weekly basis will enable the State Agency of Medicines to follow changes in current stocks and respond quickly with measures for the prevention of supply issues if necessary, the letter of explanation accompanying the draft to amend the regulation says.
Editor: Aili Vahtla