The Senate has unanimously approved a law that regulates the import and export of pharmaceutical products, with all 47 senators voting in support yesterday.
Senate secretary-general Oum Sarith said the sole purpose of yesterday’s session, which was led by Senate President Say Chhum, was to review and comment on the law.
“The law aims to promote access to pharmaceutical products for public health through a provision to export and import pharmaceutical products in national emergency situations, other emergency situations or other public health situation set by the Ministry of Health,” he said.
The law, which has five chapters, was first approved by the National Assembly on April 9.
Mr Sarith said the law just needed to be promulgated by the King.
Or Vandin, director-general of the technical general department and spokeswoman of the Health Ministry, said the law was drafted to comply with the legal standards of the World Trade Organisation to allow pharmaceutical products to be ordered and imported in emergency situations.
She said the law would allow Cambodia to order directly from pharmaceutical factories.
“When we have this law, which is in line with the WTO law, we can order medicines that need to be used during times of emergency,” she said.
Dr Vandin added that the law was important for public health because Cambodia in the past needed some medicines for instances of H5N1, or bird flu, and to prevent an outbreak of the SARS virus.