English version

Introducing the Helvecura Cooperative

Helvecura is a mutual assistance organisation of the holders of compulsory stocks of therapeutic products with a view to ensuring the security of national economic supply. As a cooperative it performs the tasks entrusted to it by the Federal authorities in connection with compulsory stockpiling and safeguards the interests of its members in that area.

It protects its members against financial losses arising from the price risk for the duration of the contractual stockpiling period and pays appropriate compensation for the expenditure incurred for the purpose of holding compulsory stocks. It protects its members against uninsurable material damage which is covered neither by the Federal authorities nor by third parties in so far as such damage occurs during the period of contractual stockpiling in the compulsory warehouses. It keeps the cooperative members and public authorities informed of the availability in Switzerland of supplies of the therapeutic products for which stockpiling is compulsory.

All natural persons, legal entities and commercial companies which have signed a compulsory stockpiling contract for therapeutic products with the Federal authorities with a view to ensuring the security of national economic supply may become members of the cooperative.

The purpose of national economic supply is to ensure that vital goods and services are available in Switzerland in times of shortage. One of the aims of national economic supply is to make sure that the Swiss population has access to therapeutic products for several months even when shortages occur. For example, antibiotics must be available immediately to combat infectious diseases. If there is a shortage of substances with an antibiotic effect that may very soon have life-threatening consequences for people and animals. Switzerland is completely dependent upon imports of antibiotics.

In addition to the holding of stocks of antibiotics which was already mandatory, stocks of antiviral pharmaceuticals have also been maintained since 2004. These pharmaceuticals are used to combat an influenza pandemic effectively. Influenza pandemics present a risk to the entire world population which must be taken extremely seriously and can cause enormous health damage in civil societies that are unprepared. That is why careful preparations and the laying down of stocks of pharmaceuticals to fight such events effectively, in particular in compliance with the recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO), are indispensable.

The main documents which set out the precise legal provisions are listed under the heading Legal Bases.

Please be aware that the German version oft he legal documents shall be prevailling.