On the occasion of the AESGP’s 43rd annual meeting which took place in Warsaw, Poland from June 4-6, 2007, Prof. Vasco A. J. Maria, President of the Executive Board of INFARMED (The National Pharmacy and Medicines’ Institute of Portugal), reported on the successful outcome of the Portuguese authorities’ decision to enhance the selfmedication sector. The objectives of the decision, which was taken in 2005, were to enhance customers’ access to medicines, boost market competition and set up a free pricing system. At the same time, the rationale and responsible use of medicines would be promoted to the public.
Between September of 2005 and mid- 2007, the list of nonprescription medicines has increased from 1608 to 1874 presentations and 432 new outlets selling nonprescription medicines have opened. The outcome is highly positive: prices are still 1.2% below prices registered in August 2005 and no safety issue has arisen.
In an opinion survey carried out in 2004, the Portuguese people had expressed their belief that a modern healthcare system should offer increasing opportunities to access OTC medicines.