New shortage of drugs in Russia


20.11.2023 11:05

Russian pharmacies, one after another, are refusing to sell psychotropic medications, noted RBC, which studied the pharmaceutical assortment throughout the country.

Of more than 10 thousand pharmacies connected to the online aggregator, only 56 have the French anti-epileptic drug Frizium, its Russian analogue Klobazam – about 150. In Moscow they are not sold at all. A similar deplorable situation exists with other tranquilizers.

The reason is simple to the point of banality – psychotropic drugs are subject to subject-quantitative accounting and are included in the corresponding lists along with cocaine, morphine and similar joys of life. Since September 1, the rules for the sale of PCU have become much stricter: in addition to the license, pharmacies need a separate permit for each outlet, drugs must be stored in a special safe, the ability to call the Russian Guard with an alarm button is required, and finally, the details of each prescription for psychotropics must be entered into a special database.

It’s easier for pharmacies to refuse to sell these drugs altogether than to comply with all the requirements, risking a huge fine for violating them, explains DSM Group CEO Sergei Shulyak.

The sale of potent medications is a “terrible headache”, which is accompanied by “constant raids from the prosecutor’s office,” confirms the owner of the Kursk chain “Pharmacy Traditions” Dmitry Rutskoy. They were tormented by inspections, he admits: “It got to the point of absurdity – the inspectors fined people because the pharmacist did not make the necessary entries in a special journal on time, due to the fact that there was a long line at the pharmacy at that moment.”

According to Shulyak, the screws on the pharmaceutical business are tightened not by the Ministry of Health and Roszdravnadzor, but by the security forces, who do not care that their actions provoke an artificial shortage. According to his forecasts, in the near future only state pharmacies will sell psychotropics, and even fewer of them.

Pharmacy organizations independently decide what to sell, the Russian Ministry of Health denied. The department believes that the current rules for the sale of PCUs should not serve as “an obstacle to their implementation as part of the normal activities of pharmacies.”

Author Sergey Kobin

Sergey Kobin – journalist, correspondent for the Pravda.Ru news service

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