Belgium - Medicine Shortages - Further developments
The docket of the Constitutional Court (“CC”) shows that in at least 7 new cases, various parties are challenging specific aspects of the Law of 7 April 2019 modifying the Law of 25 March 1964 on medicines as regards the unavailability of medicines (see attached excerpts from the list of pending CC cases).
One case description expressly indicates that the targeted provision is the rule which limits the categories of customers to which a wholesaler (“WS”) with a public-service WS status (groothandelaar-verdeler/grossiste-répartiteur) is allowed to supply. These groups of potential customers are (a) other WS with a public-service WS status; (b) community pharmacists; and (c) hospitals recognised under applicable rules (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflashes of 8 and 17 May 2019). By contrast, the other case descriptions do not identify a precise provision, even though they mention in general terms the rules “imposing limitations on wholesalers with a public-service WS status”.
Significantly, some challenges involve both a request for suspension and a request for annulment of the provision(s) at stake. At present, no details are publicly known of the arguments in support of the challenges.