A new bill preventing over the counter sales of antibiotics without prescription has created an uproar by Turkish Cypriot pharmacists.
The Turkish Cypriot Pharmacists Association has said that the new ruling, due to come in on 1st April, will hit people in the pocket. It will also affect many Greek Cypriots who cross the border to buy medicines in the TRNC because they are cheaper than in the South.
The association released a statement which said that the ‘sell antibiotics by prescription’ ruling was both untimely and unfortunate as it would leave many people facing difficulties. The statement went on to say that in their opinion, “there was no infrastructure in place to implement the system”.
While the pharmacists’ association supports the move in principle, as a way to protect human health, it stated that it believed there was a better way of providing basic health services without persecuting anyone. In order to implement the move, the General Health Insurance System bill needed to be passed; without this bill, prescriptions would be a financial drain on patients and would create further stress.
The statement concluded with several questions. It asked how this system would work. “How do you plan on controlling the sale of prescribed medicine? How will you check and control which doctors prescribe which antibiotics? How will you ease the financial burden this will have on patients?”