Victory in Pharmaceutical Vote Oct02

Bashir Khanbhai, Conservative MEP for the East of England, has scored a notable victory in the European Parliament winning widespread approval for amendments to EU Pharmaceutical legislation which ensure that the EU will have appropriate regulation, cost efficiency and easy access to medication.

In response to the concerns of local doctors, pharmacies and hospitals about restricted supplies of essential prescription medicines, Mr Khanbhai has succeeded in amending the Commission's proposals to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of these medicines from industry to wholesalers, through to hospitals, doctors and patients.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Mr. Khanbhai said: "I am totally against the quotas for prescription medicines imposed by manufacturers on wholesalers in EU member states. Whilst they claim that this is an attempt to curtail parallel imports and that it does not disrupt the supply to wholesalers to meet genuine commitments to pharmacies and hospitals, this is clearly not the case. My amendment will ensure an uninterrupted supply of medicines from manufacturers to wholesalers safeguarding the welfare of the patient at the end of the supply chain."

Mr. Khanbhai's amendments will also significantly help the region's farmers and horse owners. The Commission proposals would have required a veterinary prescription for commonly used veterinary medicines such as wormers, dips and a range of other products. In the UK & Ireland, these products are readily available, without prescription, from specially qualified persons (SQPs) in agricultural merchant outlets located in most rural areas.

Commenting on the vote Mr Khanbhai said: "This is a major victory, especially for our farmers. Insisting on a veterinary prescription would have meant unnecessary additional costs and may have deterred some farmers from using essential medicines for the welfare of their animals. There was also a significant threat to our rural businesses.

"I want to assure our farmers, horse owners and breeders that it is possible to influence continental colleagues to secure the appropriate legislation in the European Parliament. I thank my colleagues for their help in securing changes that will benefit so many."