OHR’s Statement at the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference in Mostar

The Law on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices to be considered on
August 29

The Law on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices will be considered in the BiH
House of Representatives next week on Tuesday 29 August.

The adoption of this Law would bring a series of benefits. It would help make
medicines safer and cheaper. It would guarantee access to high-quality medicines
by establishing uniform conditions for the manufacturing, testing and sale of
pharmaceuticals and measures to ensure their quality, safety and efficiency. And
it would bring benefits to the state itself by establishing a single
pharmaceuticals market, supervision over it, establishing the State regulator,
and preventing unfair competition.

The Law is also crucial for implementation of the Law on prevention and
suppression of the abuse of narcotics. This is directly linked to BiH’s
fulfilment of its international obligations.

At present, the BiH pharmaceuticals market is chaotic and fragmented.
Different Entity laws regulate the manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals and
medical devices. This holds back investment and development. In addition,
safeguards for public health in this sector are inadequate.

The importance of the Law was recognised by the Peace Implementation Council
in its Communiqué of 23 June. This is one of the reasons why the Law is
considered in the context of ongoing negotiations on a Stabilisation and
Association Agreement with the European Commission.

Scare-mongering media campaigns that attempt to portray the Law as causing
chaos in the pharmaceuticals market, are mounted by firms who wish to retain
their privileged place in the market. They have nothing to do with the
protection of domestic production or health gains for BiH citizens.

The Office of the High Representative calls on parliamentarians to recognise
the benefits this Law brings to the country; to prioritise the public health of
citizens over company’s interest; and to adopt the Law on August