The International Association of Pharmaceutical Companies is taking the Czech Republic to the European Commission over what it calls a lack of transparency regarding the pricing of medicines in the country. The Czech health ministry abolished a committee which decided on which medicines were covered by health insurance, taking on that responsibility itself. The pharmaceutical companies say the ministry is preventing more effective medicines from entering the Czech market, denying patients the right to the most up-to-date cures.
Meanwhile, the Czech Doctors' Association has called on the minister of health, Milada Emmerova, to force the country's health insurers to pay the money they owe to doctors and hospitals. Public hospitals and hospital pharmacies are currently owed some three billion Czech crowns (over 130 million US dollars) by the General Health Insurance Company. This leaves them unable to pay their debts to medicines distributors.
Over 50 percent of Czechs think the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans after World War II was just, suggests a poll released on Wednesday by the CVVM agency. Two-thirds of respondents said the Benes decrees, which sanctioned the expulsions, should remain in force. An estimated two and a half million Germans were forced to leave their homes and property in Czechoslovakia after the War.
The pop singer Helena Vondrackova is suing the Justice Ministry over delays in a libel case she has taken against a women's magazine, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. Ms Vondrackova told the daily the authorities had not taken any action in nine months in her case against the magazine Rytmus zivota. Earlier this week it was reported that the 57-year-old singer was taking the Czech state to the European Court of Human Rights, after a critic found guilty of libeling her was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Fans of Prague's Bohemians have banded together to try and revive the football club, which went bankrupt at the beginning of the year. Fans must put in at least 1,000 Czech crowns (around 45 US dollars) to join the Bohemians' Fans Union, whose immediate aim is to enter the club in the Czech Republic's third division. Among those who have signed up to help the Klokani (the Kangaroos) is Martin Jiranek, who plays for the Czech national football team.
The Czech Republic's football team remains in fourth place in the world rankings, according to figures released by the sport's governing body FIFA on Wednesday. The Czech team is currently preparing for two World Cup qualifying games, against Finland at home on Saturday and away to Andorra next week.
The next few days should see sunny spells with rain in places. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 17 degrees Celsius.
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