Kosovo health officials inspect pharmacy in North Mitrovica amidst the pandemic – assisted by the ECI police unit, citizens protest

Kosovo health inspectors, together with the police, conducted an inspection of a pharmacy located in the center of North Mitrovica, where a large group of citizens gathered shortly after noon. After the gathered citizens began booing in protest, the inspection left and the owner of the pharmacy temporarily closed the pharmacy so that the inventory could not be confiscated. According to KoSSev’s unofficial findings, other pharmacies in the city were also temporarily closed.

The Deputy Commander of the Police of the region north, Besim Hoti confirmed for KoSSev that the action was carried out by the Economic Crime Unit from Pristina and that the police from the north provided assistance.

The action was carried out in the city center, in the pharmacy considered to be the best-supplied pharmacy in the city, at a time when citizens were waiting in line to buy medicine – which is often the case in front of all pharmacies in the city since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The situation on the scene was very tense at moments, on the verge of an incident.

Blagoje Savic, owner of the pharmacy ‘Moc prirode’ where the inspection was conducted, told the media that the inspection demanded that the workers of the pharmacy have diplomas recognized by the Kosovo government, as well as that the pharmacy only sell medicine that are allowed to be sold in Kosovo.

He underlined that such a thing would be impossible because Serb doctors prescribe drugs that are approved by Serbia. Savic also condemned the fact the Kosovo Inspection carried out this action in the middle of a pandemic when there are thousands of sick citizens who require medicine.

In the meantime, the pharmacy has been reopened, after which a larger group of citizens shortly gathered in line waiting to buy medicine.

Albanians, too, regularly purchase medicine in pharmacies in the north –the pharmacy owner, Blagoje Savic also confirmed.

The crowd completely dispersed in the meantime and the intervention unit also left the scene. Currently, only customers and police patrols can be seen in front of the pharmacy.

Hoti: The action was carried out by the economic crime unit from Pristina, the police from the north provided assistance

The action in the pharmacy in North Mitrovica was carried out by the economic crime unit from Pristina, while the police of the region north only provided assistance.

„We have no information on what this is about. These are centralized units, they asked for assistance for security reasons, and we provided it to them,“ the deputy commander of the Kosovo Police for the region north, Besim Hoti said in a statement for KoSSev.

Hoti added that the inspection was conducted in one pharmacy, while also revealing that the police of the region north have no information on what precisely was inspected.

He confirmed that the action ended in the meantime and that this unit has left Mitrovica.

The citizens from the north face a problem of the lack of pharmaceutical supply

Supplying drugs registered in Serbia to Kosovo Serb communities has been a problem for years. The state pharmacy has not been well supplied since 2015, which is why citizens are forced to take prescription drugs in Raska, while private pharmacies are supplied via alternative routes.

An agreement to integrate the health system of the Republic of Serbia has not been made in Brussels. The licensing of private pharmacies, however, was agreed – as the owner of the Moc Prirode pharmacy confirmed today – but not the import of medicines registered with the Serbian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency.

An agreement on the recognition of diplomas, on the other hand, was reached. Almost 2,000 diplomas from the Serb University in Pristina have been verified so far. This process, however, is characterized by a long verification process, marked with occasional complete suspensions due to the non-appointment of members of the Kosovo Verification Commission.

The pharmacies in the north have also been subjected to inspection before. At the time, the majority of pharmacies were closed for a few days.

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.