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Validity of decisions under the Emergency Powers Act are extended to ensure the availability of medicinal products

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
13.5.2020 18.43 | Published in English on 14.5.2020 at 12.51
Press release 115/2020

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has decided to extend the validity of decisions made under section 87 of the Emergency Powers Act. The aim is to ensure the availability of medicinal products and the functioning of the pharmaceutical supply chain in Finland. The content of the decisions is the same as of the decisions issued by the Ministry on 19 March 2020 and on 9 April 2020.

The new decisions of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are based on the Emergency Powers Act and on decrees on the use of powers under the Act. The new decisions will be in force until 30 June 2020. 

Pharmaceutical supply chain guided to target medicinal products in an appropriate way

Medicinal product wholesalers are obliged to prioritise the supply of medicinal products, medicinal substances and medical supplies to pharmacies, hospital pharmacies and automated dose-dispensing systems.

Pharmacies must avoid placing unnecessarily large medicine orders with the medicinal product wholesalers. Pharmacies are also obliged to prioritise orders for medicinal products, medicinal substances and equipment and supplies for administering medicinal products and to ensure that they have a sufficient number of medicinal products and supplies that corresponds to their usual customer needs.

In the case of medicinal products requiring a prescription, the pharmacies shall limit their supply to a quantity that is equivalent to consumption of a maximum of three months. In the case of non-prescription medicinal products, the supply shall not exceed the quantity of medicinal products that are offered in the largest approved packs for self treatment mentioned in the list of packages for self treatment maintained by the Finnish Medicines Agency.

The purpose of the regulations is to ensure the delivery of necessary medicine orders on an equal basis to all pharmacies, hospital pharmacies and automated dose-dispensing units in Finland. The regulations also aim to prevent the overburdening of the pharmaceutical supply chain and the emergence of disruptions in the availability of medicines due to momentary demand spikes that are not based on the therapeutic needs of users. Furthermore, the regulations impose obligations on actors in the pharmaceutical field to introduce practices that deviate from the standard ones in order to prevent exposure to the virus responsible for COVID-19. 

Restrictions on sales of salbutamol products continue

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will also extend the validity of the decision restricting the sale of salbutamol products.

The aim of the restriction on sales is to ensure the sufficiency and equal accessibility of these medicines to all patients throughout Finland.

Based on a decision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, pharmacies may only supply salbutamol products needed for one month’s treatment at a time. However, the pharmacy must ensure that the patient's necessary pharmacotherapy continues.

Inquiries:

Merituuli Mähkä, Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]

Ulla Närhi, Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]

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