Agency of Medicines to appeal ruling in PERH pharmacy dispute

Terve Pere Apteek-owned Apotheka pharmacy inside PERH.
Terve Pere Apteek-owned Apotheka pharmacy inside PERH. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)

The Estonian Agency of Medicines is set to appeal a decision of the first-tier Tartu Administrative Court in which the court revoked the agency's decision to partly suspend Apotheka's activity license at its pharmacy branch at North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH).

"The position of the Estonian Agency of Medicines is that, in this dispute, clarity is needed for all sides on whether the requirements valid in the application for an activity license must be met later as well, during the entire period that the activity license is valid," Andrus Varki, legal adviser to the Estonian Agency of Medicines, told BNS. "Therefore we have decided to appeal the decision of Tartu Administrative Court."

On Nov. 17, the Tartu court also left unchanged the preliminary legal protection granted on Oct. 11 which enabled the pharmacy to continue offering pharmaceutical services during the resolution of the complaint.

In its appeal, the pharmacy said that the documnt proving the right to use the premises is not as important as whether it actually has the right to use the premises. PERH and the pharmacy are disputing over the right to use the premises in a civil cas being handled by Harju County Court.

Terve Pere Apteek OÜ, which operates pharmacies in Estonia under the Apotheka brand, has run a pharmacy at PERH for years. This summer, as the pharmacy's lease was set to expire, the hospital staged a competition for the contract to operate the pharmacy, which was won by Benu Apteek Eesti OÜ.

When the lease expired in October, Terve Pere Apteek refused to vacate the premises, citing shortcomings in the conduct of the competition and a valid accord concerning rent with PERH. On Oct. 4, the hospital filed an action against Terve Pere Apteek with Harju County Court, demanding that the premises be vacated.

The Agency of Medicines then suspended Terve Pere Apteek's activity license, citing the Medicinal Products Act, according to which a pharmacy must hold a legal basis for operating at a specific location. The pharmacy appealed the decision and applid for an extension of the activity license on the basis of preliminary legal protection.

Terve Pere Apteek then turned to Tartu Administrative Court with a request for preliminary legal protection, which the court granted on Oct. 11.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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