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European Commission - Press release

Free movement of goods: Greece to establish fair play on parallel importation of medicinal products

Brussels 26 January 2012. The European Commission has today requested Greece to amend its legislation on fixing of prices of parallel imported medicine in order to comply with EU rules on the free movement of goods. The national measures in force and/or practices hinder the trade of parallel imported medicine.

The Commission takes the view that rules or practices which result in imports being channelled in such a way that only certain traders can effect these imports, whereas others are prevented from doing so is a violation of Article 34 TFEU.

Similarly, if a Member State already has in its possession, all the pharmaceutical particulars relating to the medicinal preparation in question it seems unjustifiable for the said authorities to require a second trader who has imported a medicinal preparation which is in every respect the same, to produce the particulars in question to them again.

For example, the obligation to submit a marketing authorisation in addition to the parallel import authorisation or the need to submit a research and verification price sheet seem unnecessary and difficult for the parallel importer to fulfil.

Furthermore, the Greek authorities did not reply to the Commission's letter of formal notice. As a result, the Commission is of the opinion that the Greek authorities are also in violation of Article 4(3) TEU which provides that pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation, the Member States shall, assist the Union in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties.

On the basis on the reasoned opinion issued today Greece has two months to inform the Commission on the possible measures to be taken to ensure the compliance with EU law in order to avoid to be referred to the EU's Court of Justice.

For more information on the free movement of goods:

For more information on the infringement procedure, please visit: MEMO/12/42

Contacts :

Carlo Corazza +32 22 95 17 52

Sara Tironi +32 22 99 04 03

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