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11.02.2010

Medvedev urges to make resolutions on medicine prices transparent

 The Health Ministry is conducting work with medicine producers, the minister said. At present, more than 400 enterprises have licenses to medicine production, but only 30 such enterprises meet the necessary quality standards, the minister admitted.

The Health Ministry believes it necessary to do its utmost to bring the quality of Russian medicines to the European standards, but do that cautiously so that cheap medicines available now should not be made too expensive, Golikova said.

Medvedev agreed. “There is a certain tradition as regards medicine consumption in Russia. The tradition might be right or wrong, but price increases would hit consumers’ pockets,” he stressed.

Golikova told the president that two medicine catalogues were being formed in Russia now. The first one enumerates costly medicines, and the other one includes medicines used by millions in this country, but which are in short supply. A list of medicines, which production should be increased, includes medicines for treatment of cardio vascular and oncological diseases, Golikova told the president.

The minister admitted that the results of the medicine price monitoring conducted last year were not encouraging. The cost of laboratory medicines went up by more than 10 percent, in the hospital segment prices rose by 16 percent, she said. The reason is that medicines for the hospital segment are bought by enterprises as a result of a not very honest competition, the minister explained.

"Only correct and fair organization of trading might decrease the cost of goods by almost 50 percent, which applies to medications as well," Medvedev said with reference to similar opinions voiced by many governors.

“This means that the system of saving and optimisation of expenditures has reserves. We should encourage our producers to manufacture medicines of high quality. Once we are sure of a high quality of Russia-produced medicines, the habit of substituting Russian-made medicines for foreign analogues should be dropped,” Medvedev said.

The president drew attention to the fact that the medicine-pricing decisions should be transparent. "They should be accessible to all. A citizen should know what a real cost of a medicine is and at what price it is sold. The price should be available on the Internet as well, but since not all the people are Internet users the prices should be displayed at shops in the drug store network. I intentionally mentioned the drug store network because I know that not all chemist’s shops are interested in transparency because of illicit increases. The main task is to ensure that citizens should have realistic and open access to prices,” President Medvedev said.


Source:  www.itar-tass.com

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