In 2011 the government issued a decision on the list of essential medication necessary for the healthcare that is covered by the country's mandatory health insurance. Doctors are authorised to prescribe only medications contained on this list. The list contains a maximum of five protected names of medications for each generic name. The list must include the products of domestic medication producers.

The Competition Council recently held that Point VIII of the special criteria of this decision prevents, limits and distorts competition in the medication market. Point VIII favours medication produced locally over medication produced by international manufacturers.

The provisions of the decision that were held to breach the Competition Act were declared null and void by the council. Further, the government was ordered to harmonise the decision with the act, and to ensure that there is no limitation on the number and origin of medications included on the positive list. The government was fined KM80,000 (approximately €40,000) and ordered to pay the legal fees of the Association of Representatives of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers which had submitted the complaint to the council.

For further information on this topic please contact Srdjana Petronijevic at Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr by telephone (+381 11 320 26 00), fax (+381 11 320 26 10) or email (s.petronijevic@schoenherr.rs).

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