Drug shortages in Portugal are being investigated by Infarmed

April 9, 2013 | By Márcio Barra

Parallel exportation has been one of the main suspects of the shortage of drugs in Portugal, and it seems that Infarmed, the national competent authority is finally taking proper action.

Newspaper “Correio da Manhã” reports that Infarmed has an ongoing investigation on several drug distribution companies, suspect of conducting parallel exportation to increase profits. This investigation is expected to end in late April.

The current maximum fine for illegal export allowed by law is 44 thousand euros. This amount “is not a dissuasive factor, as the profit margins are higher than the fines.” said Eurico Castro Alves, president of Infarmed. A change of the legislation might be in order to allow higher fees.

Paulo Macedo, the Portuguese Health Minister, also stated that he won’t shy away of prohibiting parallel exportation to ensure that patients have access to medicines, like Spain and Greece did.

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