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Monday 18.12.2017 | Name days: Klinta, Kristaps, Kristofers, Krists
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Latvian Association of Apothecaries president criticises Agency of Medicines

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SIA Saules aptieka board member Guntis Belevics

The main reasons why SIA Saules aptieka initiated two proceedings against the Health Ministry is damage caused to patients and the absurd State Agency of Medicines (SAM) decisions on patients’ rights to treat themselves with prescribed medicines registered in the European Union (EU), not in Latvia.

Such view was expressed to the business portal Nozare.lv by SIA Saules aptieka board member and the Latvian Association of Apothecaries president Guntis Belēvičs (Belevics).

He points out one of the cases filed to the Administrative District Court has already been accepted for review, while the Court is still deciding on the other one.

According to Belevics, last year Saules aptieka turned to the SAM with 728 applications, requesting authorization to issue 1 887 medicinal product titles and 10 272 medicine packages.

It is absurd that pharmacy must repeatedly turn to the SAM with a new application on the same medicines that have been examined dozens of times and found to be safe. According to information published by the SAM, each application review takes up about 16 days, meaning delayed treatment, as well as, moral and health damages. Moreover, once a patient did not manage to receive the medication and died. This is outraging, Belevics stresses.

According to his estimates, last year 8 000 Saules aptieka patients suffered from not being able to receive EU registered medical products prescribed by Latvian physicians in time. Since Saules aptieka provides only about one-fourth of such medications, possibly 20 000 to 30 000 patients throughout Latvia could have suffered over the year.

At the same time, Belevics does not oppose the possibility that this way the SAM is lobbying interests of pharmaceutical companies represented in Latvia, who do not want competitors’ medicines to be freely available.

If a new application has to be written for each medicinal product title also in cases when the SAM has already declared it as safe and allowed its prescription, then a casual observer might conclude the Agency’s employees have two-bit memory, similar to that of a goldfish. I think memory is not at fault here, but the SAM’s material interests. This is not a medicine inspection – it is the imitation of action, Belevics is convinced.

The businessman also emphasizes that soon patients themselves will turn against the SAM and the Ministry of Health, because this issue should be resolved at once.

As reported, Saules aptieka brought an action to the court last week.

 


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