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Let supermarkets sell medical supplies, says health minister
Supermarkets in Belgium could soon be allowed to sell medical supplies such as sterile dressings under a new plan that would rid pharmacies of their monopoly.
While the sale of medicines would remain exclusively for pharmacists, the proposed royal decree being put forward by federal health minister Maggie De Block would make it possible to buy, for example, nasal drops or self-testing kits elsewhere.
Belgium's College of Pharmacists has not officially reacted to the news yet - but its president Gert Laekeman, speaking in a personal capacity, said: "Pharmacists have each patient's medical interests at heart. Anyone who sells medical supplies should do so with the patient's care as a priority. I hope that safety measures will be included in this order."