Importers of foreign medications are threatened with getting shut down.
A source shared the information with the charter97.org web-site.
“On 14 November representatives of the Public Health Ministry of the Republic of Belarus gathered the key distributors working in Belarus’ pharmaceutical market. A ban on imports of foreign drugs to the Republic of Belarus was declared, which will be effective after 10 December 2013. It sounded practically like that: “We will shut down anyone who gets customs clearance for medications after 10.12.2013”, - the source said.
According to the source, it will not be a problem for the authorities to shut distributors down, that is why everyone is taking the threat seriously.
“Now all the pharmaceutical companies are boiling discussing further steps. There has not yet been an official document”, - the source reports.
An employee of one of the hospitals in Minsk reported to the charter97.org web-site that the Public Health Ministry repeatedly put forward the initiative to ban the sales of the medications which have domestic analogues. However, such decisions concerned particular medications and did not spread to the whole import.
“The latest case of the kind took place in early September. The Public Health Ministry send a letter to BelPharmacy, in which it demanded to replace the foreign medications Theraflu Extra with a Belarusian analogue. A bit earlier the sale of certain imported anti-inflammatory drugs had been banned in the same way. Last year the Public Health Ministry came forward with an initiative to ban the advertising of medications. Such a practice is widespread regarding medical equipment. Hospitals are directly forbidden to buy abroad the medications that are also produced in Belarus”, - he said.
The interlocutor pointed out that there are no analogues to certain imported medications in Belarus. However, according to him, such an initiative fits quite well into the authorities’ policy of replacing the imports.
“They have long been trying to implement the policy in the medical industry. Three years ago the pharmaceutical industry of the country was set with a five-year goal of satisfying the population’s demand for drugs by the means of expanding production runs and the range of domestic medications”, - he said.
We would remind that in March 2012 the Public Health Ministry of Belarus confirmed a new list of medications, which were allowed to be sold in pharmacies without a prescription. 964 items were included in the list. However, all the antibiotics, hypotensive drugs, contraceptives and other medications of high demand were not on the list.