People buying medications from the north must sign a declaration assuming responsibility for their action, the health ministry said on Friday, in the wake of a government announcement that residents of the Republic can procure medicines for private use.
The government’s move followed the ever-increasing numbers of Geek Cypriots who venture to the north to buy their meds where prices for many products oftentimes being 50 per cent or more cheaper.
The decision has also irked pharmaceutical companies whose association Sfek issued a statement on Thursday warning that meds sold in the north were unregulated and posed serious risks to patients’ lives.
On Friday, the health ministry said it had given guidelines on the matter following a legal opinion issued by the attorney-general in 2007.
Based on the guidelines, people can buy medications for a one-month treatment.
The person however, must sign a declaration assuming responsibility for possible adverse effects to their health from the use of the product since health authorities in the Republic cannot check or secure the authenticity or quality, the ministry said.
On Thursday, Sfek criticised the government decision to allow purchases for private consumption, suggesting it violated the laws of the Republic and also cast shadows over the state’s pricing policy.
“We reiterated that buying medicines from the occupied areas involves serious dangers for patients’ health and all citizens in general,” Sfek said.
It said drugs were sold illegally by pharmacies which may not observe the rules for proper storage, are not subjected to EU checks and no one knows whether pharmacists have been trained to exercise the profession.