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Russian Federation: Legislation Adopted Penalizing Use and Distribution of Prohibited Substances in Sports

(May 28, 2019) On May 1, 2019, the Russian Federation adopted the Law on Amending Articles 3.5 and 6.18 of the Code of Administrative Violations, which prescribes fines for athletes who use doping. (Federal’nii Zakon ot 05-01-2019 No. 96-FZ О Vnesenii Izmeninii V Stat’i 3.5 i 6.18 Kodeksa Rossiiskoi Federatsii ob Administrativnikh Pravonarusheniyakh [Federal Law […]

Germany: Prescription Drugs Cannot Be Sold Via Video Chat and Vending Machines

(May 24, 2019) In a decision published on May 11, 2019, the Administrative Court of Karlsruhe (Verwaltungsgericht Karlsruhe, VG Karlsruhe) held that the Dutch mail order pharmacy DocMorris cannot use vending machines in Germany to sell drugs that are authorized for sale only through pharmacies. The Court stated that vending-machine sales were not covered by […]

France: National Medication Safety Agency to Consider Experimenting with Legalized Medical Cannabis

(Jan. 8, 2019) The French agency in charge of evaluating the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products, L’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM) (National Agency for the Safety of Medication), announced on December 27, 2018, that it would consider experimenting with cannabis-based preparations for medical purposes. (L’ANSM souscrit aux premières conclusions du CSST sur […]

New Zealand: Medicinal Cannabis Bill Passed

(Dec. 18, 2018) On December 11, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill (New Zealand Legislation website), which “will introduce an exception and a statutory defence for terminally ill people to possess and use illicit cannabis and to possess a cannabis utensil; provide a regulation-making power to enable the […]

United Kingdom: Viagra Made Available as Over-the-Counter Medication

(Dec. 12, 2017) The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an executive agency of the United Kingdom’s Department of Health responsible for regulating medicines, medical devices, and blood transfusion components, recently assessed whether Viagra Connect should become available as an over-the-counter medicine. At the end of November 2017, the results of the assessment were […]

Iran: New Law Poses Health and Financial Problems for Thalassemia Sufferers

(Sept. 27, 2017) A recent Iranian law that in effect removes all foreign medications from the list of drugs covered by insurance organizations reportedly endangers the health of a large percentage of the country’s thalassemia patients and subjects them to heavy financial burdens.  (Law Creating Hurdles for Thalassemia Patients, FINANCIAL TRIBUNE (July 26, 2017).)  The […]

Germany: Medical Marijuana Act Enters into Force

(Mar. 13, 2017) On March 10, 2017, an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Act entered into force in Germany that allows doctors to prescribe cannabis to seriously ill patients even if other treatment options are available.  No additional special permit will be required.  The costs of the treatment will be covered by the patient’s health […]

United Kingdom: Record-Breaking Multi-Million Dollar Fine Imposed on Drug Companies for Charging Excessive Prices

(Dec. 23, 2016) The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom, an independent non-ministerial department responsible for promoting competition, has fined pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Flynn Pharma a record-breaking £90 million (about US$113 million) for charging excessive and unfair prices in the UK for an anti-epilepsy drug known as phenytoin sodium.  (Press Release, […]

Brazil: Marijuana-Based Medicine Authorized for Use

(Nov. 29, 2016) On November 22, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA) unanimously approved the inclusion of medicines based on derivatives of cannabis sativa (cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol – substances found in marijuana) in list A3 of Administrative Act No. 344/98. (Portaria SVS/MS No. 344/98 […]

Brazil: Import and Use of Marijuana-Based Medicine Products Authorized

(Mar. 28, 2016) On March 18, 2016, the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA) enacted Collegiate Board Resolution No. 66 (Resolução da Diretoria Colegiada – RDC No. 66 de 18 de Março, D.O.U. No. 54, de 21 de Março de 2016), which was published in the country’s Official Gazette (Diário Oficial […]