[Ip-health] Politico Europe - EU health chief: Countries can stop parallel drug trade

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Sep 8 22:40:42 PDT 2015


EU health chief: Countries can stop parallel drug trade


9/8/15, 12:52 PM CET

Updated 9/8/15, 12:53 PM CET

EU health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told a Romanian news outlet
that EU countries have the right to stop wholesalers from selling drugs
outside one country at cheaper prices in another if it decreases patients’
access to treatment.

“EU member states have the right to regulate parallel drugs trade. Slovakia
took this kind of measure, Poland too,” Andriukaitis told the Romanian
health journalist Vlad Mixich in an interview published today by
Hotnews.ro, ahead of the commissioner’s visit to Bucharest on Thursday.

Stopping so-called parallel trade “is an absolutely legal instrument” that
EU countries have in their toolbox and they should be encouraged to use it,
the commissioner said.

The practice is legal in the EU, but drugmakers complain it leads to
shortages.  Parallel traders say they help re-distribute drugs and can make
them affordable.

Andriukaitis said price-setting mechanisms are very different across the EU
countries and those who promote parallel trade have only one motivation:
financial gains.

He welcomed the plans by Belgium and the Netherlands, and Romania and
Bulgaria, to potentially buy medicines together because “they seem to be a
step in the right direction in offering better and less expensive
treatments to patients.”

Andriukaitis said he sent letters to all the 28 EU countries encouraging
them to use joint drug procurement. “I was very proud when the Bulgarian
health minister announced publicly the Romanian-Bulgarian plan to launch
the drugs joint procurement mechanism until the end of 2016,” the EU health
commissioner said.

He does not have more details about the plan at the moment, he told


Carmen Paun

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