Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (583)

Pat Rabbitte


696 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by pharmacists at the implications of EU Directive 85/433/EC that gives member states the option of not recognising the qualification of an EU or EEA qualified pharmacist in relation to ownership, management or supervision of a pharmacy that is less than three years old, while no such restriction applies to pharmacists from outside the EU or EEA area; if he intends to take steps to address this anomaly during the Irish Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1487/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

Through the derogation available under Article 2.2 of Directive 85/433/EEC on the free movement of pharmacists, EU or EEA pharmacists who qualified in another EU or EEA state cannot own in their own right, operate or manage a pharmacy in Ireland that is less than three years old.

The derogation was implemented in Ireland through the European Communities (Recognition of Qualifications In Pharmacy) Regulations 1987 (S.I. No. 239 of 1987) and European Communities (Recognition of Qualifications In Pharmacy) Regulations 1991 (S.I . No. 330 of 1991). These regulations do not preclude such pharmacists from working in a pharmacy less than three years old, other than as a supervising pharmacist.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland is responsible for the registration of pharmacists and for the recognition of non-EU pharmacy qualifications. It currently has reciprocal arrangements with its counterparts in Australia and New Zealand that recognises the pharmacy qualifications of these countries. Therefore, the EU derogation does not apply to pharmacists from those countries.

The pharmacy review group considered the issue of the derogation and I am examining the complex legal and other issues surrounding its recommendations. Consideration will be given to Ireland's use of the derogation on completion of my examination.

Question No. 697 answered with QuestionNo. 659.