I need to buy penicillin and anti-fungal drugs. At the pharmacy, where staff was speaking
Russian, we could not find these drugs and they offered us to buy their analogues. After that
when I contacted my doctor, he said that they sold me the medicine, which has nothing to do
with penicillin, and instead of anti-fungal drugs they gave me a drug for the treatment of
gynecological diseases. I tried to make the return of goods, or at least to exchange them for the
items I needed, but I’ve got a refusal in blunt terms. How should I act in such situations in order
not to be deceived?
The relationship between traders and consumers are well governed by domestic legislation and
also by EU regulations and Directives and from decrees of the UN. In this respect, domestic
legislation and specifically Law 103(I)/2007, provides that a trader shall act with “professional
diligence” towards its consumers. This means that a standard of special skill and care is
reasonably expected by a trader to consumers, including pharmacists, by analogy with honest
market practice and / or the general principle of good faith in commercial activities.
As a result of this law, any unfair commercial practices are prohibited. A commercial practice is
unfair when it is misleading towards the consumer. A commercial practice shall be regarded as
misleading if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful or in any way, regarding the
overall presentation, it deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer, even if the
information is factually correct, or anyway, when it causes or is likely to cause the average
consumer to take a transactional decision that otherwise would not have receive. Amongst
others, misleading information includes misrepresentation on the main characteristics of the
product, such as its availability, benefits, risks, execution, composition, accessories, after-sales
support to consumers and tackled the importance of complaints, the method and date of
manufacture or benefit obligation, delivery, fitness for use, quantity, specification, geographical
or commercial origin or the results to be expected from the use of the product results or the
results and material features of tests or checks of the product. Since you requested a specific
medicine the pharmacist had the obligation to inform you promptly and truthfully about the
medicine they provided you with or they could direct you to another pharmacist since they did
not have penicillin and anti-fungal drugs. When you tried to return the goods, of course they
could have offer you a refund or an ex-change but this again may depends on the policy they
follow. However, if you have opened the box, they could not accept it for an ex-change.
In order not to be deceived, the best way is always require detailed information about the
products you buy including their composition, risks or effects, always read the labels (most of
the medicines in Cyprus bear English labels) or if you are not sure about this, it is best to visit
your doctor to prescribe for you specific medicines applicable for your situation. All consumers
have the right to be provided with correct information according to regulations from the UN. In
case you have a complaint or you want to refer this, the relevant authority in Cyprus for the
protection of the consumers, is the “Competition and Consumer Protection Service” of the
Ministry of Energy, Commerce Industry and Tourism. According to the provisions of the
Protection of Competition Law (N.207/90), the Commission for the Protection of Competition is
the competent authority to monitor the enforcement of the rules of healthy competition and to
intervene effectively so as to implement the Law.
The complaint form on their official webpage on http://www.competition.gov.cy/ and also more
information about your rights as a consumer.
Always remember that consumers have the right to question any information provided to them
and you can always submit your complaint against any trader in case that you have been
deceived or been treated unfairly.