A workgroup of the ruling three-party coalition that gathered in the Riigikogu agreed that the amendments to the Medicinal Products Act will be reopened for discussion to find the best possible solution to the situation that has emerged.
"The aim is to ensure the availability of medicines across Estonia at the present extent and make sure that the price of medicinal products remains affordable," chairman of the Riigikogu social affairs committee Tõnis Molder said according to spokespeople for the Centre Party.
"The workgroup will discuss the pharmacy reform in different formats over the next week," the Center Party MP said.
The amendments to the Medicinal Products Act concerning requirements for pharmacy owners will come into effect on April 1 next year. On the same day the transition period for bringing pharmacies into conformity with the new requirements will end.
One of the main changes to be introduced with the amendments is the requirement that majority shares in a general pharmacy must belong to a pharmacist, who may be connected to up to four pharmacies in an urban community with a population of 4,000 or more and must work as a manager in one of these pharmacies.
The aim of the changes is to strengthen the role of pharmacists in the healthcare system, ensure professional development of the pharmacy service and reduce the impact of business interests on the pharmacy service.
Editor: Helen Wright