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Band C generics, patients don't know them

Many medicines seem to be unobtainable, including those that are often used for neuropathic pain, anxiety disorders, antidepressants, antiepileptics, but not only that, the apprehension also concerns unobtainable drugs often used for the treatment of degenerative diseases such as Parkinsons.

Among the most sought after medicines and practically unobtainable in most Italian pharmacies: Clexane, Cymbalta, Questran, Requip, Seroquel, Sinemet, Tegretol, Xeristar.

The cause? Apparently everything seems to lead back to the 'parallel trade'. The phenomenon seems to have spread since 2006 when with the Legislative Decree 219/06 the rule that established the prohibition of cumulation between the actual pharmaceutical activity and that of wholesaler was abolished. Since then, more and more pharmacists have begun to collect contingent drugs from the Italian market resell them abroad. Italy, like Greece, has the lowest ex-factory prices in all of Europe, while Germany and the United Kingdom have the highest ones. Often very high earnings for pharmacists but medicines that are increasingly unobtainable for the sick and this only because, almost incredibly in times of crisis, the medicines in question cost less than abroad.

"The advantage for those who work in the parallel market is only economic and dictated by the capital gain, given that the export will only take place for those drugs which in Italy have a lower price to the public/pharmacy than in other countries".

The result of all this is the quota of medicines or limited access to some medicines which, in many cases, are dispensed in small quantities even if the demand is high.

This represents a great challenge for AIFA, the Istituto Superiore della Sanità and the Ministry of Health which should undertake to offer the patient at least the presence on the market of the care they need.

Unfortunately, all this cannot be defined as strictly illegal, precisely following the aforementioned legislative decree, but can taking away medicines from patients to supply them to pharmacies or resell them abroad, can it at least be defined as ethically incorrect?

July 6, 2013  

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco