On Wednesday, the deputies approved the amendment to the Medicines Act in the third reading. It is introducing several innovations that, according to the Minister of Health Vlastimil Válk (TOP 09), will help solve problems with the unavailability of certain medicines.
“There were a number of amendments to that law, both from the coalition and from the opposition. Some of them were accepted, I consider them very useful and good,” said Válek.
However, 156 of the 173 MPs present voted for the bill, and no one was against it. The changes will now be considered by senators.
The amendment introduces a new obligation for manufacturers to supply medicines for one to two months after reporting a shortage, depending on the reliability of supplies in the previous period.
Medicines that the Ministry of Health will put on a special list will also have to be in stock in a monthly supply by medicine distributors.
Distributors will also have the obligation to inform the State Office for Drug Control (SÚKL) how many packages of the product with limited availability they currently have in stock. In this way, the department and SÚKL will obtain information on how much of the given preparation is in distribution and therefore available for delivery to pharmacies.
What do pharmacists think about the changes?
Distributors will also not be allowed to favor any pharmacy in the supply of medicines, which should limit the occurrence of local unavailability.
Pharmacies will also have the obligation to report the current stock status of the medicinal product with limited availability and at the same time they will be able to order it in the usual quantity for the given pharmacy.
The Chamber further strengthened some of the Ministry’s powers. It will be authorized to adjust the conditions for the distribution, prescription and dispensing of drugs with limited availability so that “in cases of significant need, it can actively intervene in the path of the medicinal product from production to the patient”.