Romania - Ministry of Health Announces Plan to Limit Export of 127 Medicines
The Romanian Ministry of Health announced today that it would suspend the exportation of 127 medicines for a period of 6 months that would end on 31 March 2020 (see, attached). The suspension is subject to the outcome of a public consultation.
According to healthcare specialists, the targeted medicines all run an increased risk of shortage and are indicated for the treatment of cancer patients and transplant recipients. The Ministry expects the proposed measure to pass muster under EU law but will notify it to the European Commission. In the past, the Commission has already given its blessing to targeted export restrictions in Poland, Romania and Slovakia that were considered to be “justified, reasonable and proportionate to ensure a legitimate public interest” (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 17 May 2018). According to the Commission, seeking to avoid medicine shortages qualifies as a legitimate public interest.
Conversely, the Belgian Constitutional Court recently suspended a statutory rule that had precluded wholesaler-distributors (i.e., wholesalers entrusted with specific public service obligations) from selling to any party other than fellow wholesaler-distributors, community pharmacists and specific hospitals on the grounds that such a mesure constitutes an unjustified restriction of the free movement of goods across Member State borders (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 19 July 2019).