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Drugs are Not Potatoes

Discussion of sales of OTC drugs at supermarkets has been under discussion for a few years now. The Ministry of Industry and Trade insisted on the idea, which was supported by Igor Shuvalov, the First Vice-Premier Minister, who instructed the Ministry of Healthcare to develop a document a year ago. Representatives of the Ministry of Healthcare, having studied the case, came to a conclusion, that sales of drugs at supermarkets are not reasonable, referring to results of voting at the portal of projects of normative legal acts regulation.gov.ru. The development of a draft of law on drug sales in supermarkets was supported by 11 persons, 2488 persons voted against the initiative. This result is not surprising, for healthcare and medical community is not and has never been confident in the correctness of the project suggested by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It is not surprising. The pharmacy worker can consult the consumer on the use of drug, and can offer a similar drug, a generic version, and warn about possible negative consequences of using a drug. Would  the qualification of a supermarket salesperson be enough for that? Besides, drugs, and most medical devices require certain, strictly regulated conditions of storage under special control. The drug is not similar to potatoes, cheese or a loaf of bread.

National Pharmaceutical Chamber (NPC) and Russian Association of Pharmacy Networks (RAPN), other pharmacy associations have not supported the initiative on drug sales in supermarkets.

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