Kiik: Pharmacy reform should be amended to avoid conflict of interest

Pharmacy. Photo is illustrative.
Pharmacy. Photo is illustrative. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Ministry of Social Affairs is planning to work out amendments in Medicinal Products Act to avoid pharmaceutical companies potentially earning unfair profits and to consider patient's interests more, Minister of Social Affairs, Tanel Kiik (Center) says.

"We have had a decision where there is a lot of opacity in the pharmaceutical market both in Estonia and Europe meaning that often times, the activities are legal but go against the idea of law," Kiik told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Wednesday night.

Kiik said that during the entry into force of the pharmacy reform, the issue had already been raised that the parties need to be separated to avoid conflict of interests.

Since April 1 this year, pharmacies may only be pharmacist-owned, and drug wholesalers have had to forgo their pharmacy chains. It is nonetheless uncertain yet whether the reform will improve competition in retail drug sales.

As a result, Kiik said, the Ministry of Social Affairs plans to create specific amendments to the law in cooperation with the State Agency of Medicines (Raviamet) and the Competition Authority (Konkurentsiamet), which would help to avoid such situations in the future.

"The goal is that the hidden additional conditions and nuances in contracts wouldn't distort the market. And that there wasn't a situation where one party makes much more profit that is set by the law," Kiik commented.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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