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The Seimas has decided: medicines will be allowed to be marketed not only in pharmacies


2018 07 16


The Seimas has adopted amendments to the Law on Pharmacy, proposing three innovations that will help patients to receive the necessary medicines faster, in a more convenient and, most importantly, cheaper way. The proposal to allow the sales of over-the-counter medicines not only in pharmacies, but also in other places, such as supermarkets, other retail outlets, and sales of medicines in pharmacies subject to online prescriptions have been approved. It was also decided to allow institutions providing day-care services to set up pharmacies that could sell patients compensated medicines.

Prescription medicines - online

Countries that already have an electronic recipe have already been using this practice where prescription medicines can be ordered online. This novelty as of end of 2019 will be applied in Lithuania, so patients will have the opportunity to choose how it is more convenient for them to buy prescription drugs. Then, patients who have an electronic recipe will be able to choose whether to buy prescription drugs, with the exception of narcotic drugs and psychotropic drugs, in pharmacy, or to buy them online. 

This will enable people to purchase the medicines they need in a safe, convenient and timely manner.

It will be easier to buy non-prescription medicines

The proposal to allow the sales of over-the-counter medicines not only in pharmacies but also in other places, such as supermarkets and other retail outlets was also approved, and certain requirements were set for such trade. In order to properly regulate such trade, it is proposed to license this activity, as well as to allow the sales of not all over-the-counter medicines, but only those that are listed on a special list.

The emergence of alternative trading places will ensure patients with more choice as to how they can buy medicines in case there is no operating pharmacy nearby, but they are urgently needed. For example, pain relief is needed at night. It is likely that they will sold in 24-hour stores or other retail outlets not only in big cities but also in smaller settlements where people will at any time get the right medicine for them.

Given the fact that medicines are a special commodity that can be harmful to health by improper consumption, it is important not only to make it easier for people to acquire the necessary medicines but also to ensure that the patient takes rational and safe use of the medicines purchased from a retailer. 

More pharmacies in treatment facilities

It was decided to institutions providing day-care services to set up pharmacies where their patients would be able to more easily and conveniently acquire the necessary medication prescribed by a doctor for treatment in a day-care facility. This would allow patients to save time by no longer visiting public pharmacies, as is often the case now.

Healthcare facilities will therefore be able to set up their own hospital pharmacies and provide patients with day-care treatment with adequate compensated medicines, and patients will be able to purchase them on-site.

Patients are often confronted with difficulties because they first have to come to a doctor at the day care centre where a prescription is issued, afterwards they have to visit the drugstore and buy the necessary medication there. After acquiring the medication, the patient returns to the treatment institution where the service is provided, for example, for the purchased medication is injected.

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