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Parliamentary questions
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1 March 2018
Question for written answer P-001287-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Andrey Kovatchev (PPE)

 Subject:  Shortage of medicines owing to parallel trade in Europe
 Answer in writing 

The re-exportation — or parallel trade — in medicines is considered to be the main reason for the frequent shortage of medicines in many EU Member States. In early 2018, patients’ organisations in Bulgaria reported that around 60% of the medicines imported into that country were re-exported to other European markets. This makes it difficult — and sometimes even impossible — for many patients who require continuous treatment for life‐threatening diseases to procure the medicines they need.

1. Given the significant differences in the availability of medicines between different Member States, does the Commission intend to produce an analysis of the reasons for the shortages of medicines, and more specifically of the impact of parallel trade, as called for in the European Parliament resolution of 2 March 2017 on EU options for improving access to medicines?

2. Does the Commission see any legal or regulatory obstacles to the introduction of a pan‐European system for monitoring medicines, through which to track their movement along the supply chain?

3. Would it be possible, in view of the work done by the Commission in the field of eHealth and electronic prescriptions, to establish an EU register as a means of putting an end to bogus prescriptions? Such a system could store all prescriptions for a period of at least four months in order to ensure that there was a genuine patient every medicinal product sold.

Original language of question: BG 
Last updated: 7 March 2018Legal notice